Movie Dog Barks Again
I watched "Cold Mountain" the other day and was more impressed with it than I expected. I am growing increasingly resistant to Nicole Kidman. She has talent as an actress but her role in this movie left me unimpressed. I was never able to see her character. All I saw was Nicole Kidman acting the role. "Rain Man" left me feeling the same way. Dustin Hoffman was supposed to be so great playing the idiot savant and Tom Cruise was just playing the slickee-boy brother. But Cruise utterly inhhabited the role - he simply was that man. Hoffman, on the other hand, was so painfully, visibly acting the part that he became a distraction. Kidman is not quite distractingly bad but she's similarly forced.
I do think Nicole Kidman is one of the stunning beauties of our time but she gets colder and colder as time goes by. Her dalliance with Lenny Kravitz doesn't exactly raise her in my estimation either but that's pure personal prejudice (I don't like Kravtiz's faux-hippie persona or his music truth be told) on my part. Give me the Kidman from "Dead Calm" please.
Renee Zellweger, very much on the other hand, is magnificent. She is Ruby Thewes. She doesn't act the part. She becomes her role. I've always liked Ms. Zellweger. She seems like such a nice person. Someone who would be a friend if met under the proper circumstances and not at all stuck up (to use a Monty Python phrase). But that could be wishful thinking on my part. The one part of her looks that bothers me is her tendency to squint. Her eyes have an unfortunate tendency to disappear. It's kinda cute (Oh Lord! Another crush! -Ed.) But she plays Ruby with almost bug-eyed directness. And it just plain works.
I also find Jude Law to be a very good actor. His work in "A.I." was top notch. He does a very creditable turn here as well. This is another of those movies that's well worth renting if you haven't already seen it. And if you ever get to meet Renee, please invite me along!