Cold Mountainis a 2003 war drama film written and directed by Anthony Minghella . The film is based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Charles Frazier . It stars Jude Law , Nicole Kidman and Renée Zellweger in lead roles as well as Natalie Portman , Phillip Seymour Hoffman , Melora Walters , Jena Malone , and Giovanni Ribisi .
The film tells the story of a wounded deserter from the Confederate army close to the end of the American Civil War who is on his way to return to the love of his life, Ada Monroe.
Cold Mountainopened to great reviews from critics and won several major awards. It was also a success at the box office and became a sleeper hit grossing more than double its budget worldwide.
The story is told in a series of flashbacks from the viewpoint of W. P. Inman ( Jude Law ), a quiet man from a provincial North Carolina town. He meets Ada ( Nicole Kidman ), the new preacher's daughter. However, as their relationship begins to develop the Civil War begins and Inman is compelled to join the fray.
The film opens in July of 1864 at the Siege of Petersburg . After suffering a serious wound, Inman is sent to a Confederate military hospital where he recovers alongside other soldiers who, like himself, have become disaffected by the prolonged and horrifically destructive war. As he faces the inevitability of being sent back to the war, and after receiving a letter from Ada imploring him to return home to Cold Mountain, he he decides to desert the army and sets off in the night to make the several hundred mile perilous journey home.
Inman's journey to return to Ada is wrought with danger and unexpected encounters with other desperate individuals, some treacherous and some sympathetic. He faces starvation, extreme weather, and the constant harassment of the ruthless Home Guard , led by the vicious Teague ( Ray Winstone ), sent to track down deserters. He is at times aided in his journey by strangers equally affected by the horrors of war.
As Inman journeys home, Ada is left destitute and desperate back at Cold Mountain after the death of her father. She is aided by a young woman named Ruby Thewes ( Renee Zellweger ) who is determined to help Ada and her farm at Black Cove survive through the worsening conditions of the war-ravaged South. Ruby is reunited with her estranged fiddle-playing deserter father, Stobrod, whose return threatens to bring disaster to Black Cove.
The film alternates between Inman's epic journey and Ada's trials at Cold Mountain, while telling through flashbacks the story of Ada and Inman's brief love affair before the war tore them apart. The tale is beautifully told, the characters rich and memorable, and the film renders a vivid and bleak landscape of a Civil War America that left scars upon a nation that were greater than anyone had ever imagined.