call this one oscar run 1a
dad's tape

oscar run ii: cold mountain

(Shouldn't really have to say this, but just in case, SPOILERS ahead!)

cold mountainContinuing this year's Oscar run, today I saw Cold Mountain, which was nominated for seven Oscars, most of which in retrospect I can barely remember. To get the good stuff out of the way, I expected it to be simply awful and potentially racist, but found it to be average and not racist. Philip Seymour Hoffman is good as always, I love Renée Zellweger whenever she's not a 98-pound stick, and Jude Law is almost as pretty as Nicole Kidman.

That's pretty much it. The narrative kept me attentive, which is no easy feat, since the film is 2 1/2 hours long and I'm one who thinks every movie without the word "godfather" in the title should be 90 minutes, tops. But there was no real payoff, and when, after two hours, Jude and Nicole finally got together again, I waited for my emotions to overflow and they didn't. And it's funny, because like Pauline Kael, I really really hate cheap unearned emotion at the movies, think getting an audience to cry is the easiest thing possible, and Cold Mountain never pulled out those stops, you'd think I'd admire it, and maybe I do, but when I didn't feel anything at the Jude-Nicole reunion, I realized the entire film was emotionally uninvolving, and not in a particularly interesting way.

So you're left with Hoffman and Zellweger and a good war scene near the beginning, and ain't Jude Law pretty. Zellweger deserves her supporting-actress Oscar nod, but Jude Law has been better in other movies ... he's one of the few good things about A.I. and I liked him in The Talented Mr. Ripley. As for the other Oscar nods, two songs are up for Best Original Song, and OK, I used to stick around until all the credits were done, but nowadays credits last so long I can leave the theatre, get in my car, drive home, log onto the Internet Movie Database and read the credits before the people who stuck around in the theatre have finished sitting through the damn things. So as far as I know, I didn't hear either of the two songs, and I don't really give a shit, anyway. The other Oscar noms are for cinematography, editing, and score, and I didn't think the movie was anything special in those areas. So, go Renée, but mostly I don't think this one deserves seven Oscar nominations. Six on a scale of ten.