I’m not typically a Nicole Kidman or Jude Law fan. At all. BUT I loved this movie? Why, when I don’t care for the two main actors? Number one: the Civil War. I’m a Civil War buff. And I love the Civil-War-era South, for a number of reasons. It’s complicated. I may get into this in later blogs. Number two: THE MUSIC!!!! The same Oscar year that my favorites were all up against each other for best original song (including Annie Lennox for “Into the West” in Lord of the Rings and A Mighty Wind’s Mitch and Mickey for “Kiss at the End of the Rainbow” in A Mighty Wind) Alison Krauss was nominated TWICE as performer for Elvis Costello and T-Bone Burnett’s war song “The Scarlet Tide” and the Sting-penned-and-co-performed Scottish-lilted “You Will Be My Ain True Love.” The bone-chilling sacred harp singing, as well as every other song, is used to its full potential as an emotional layer, adding to the incredible complexities that went into the book and the movie. Three: the acting!!! Renee Zellweger was over-the-top, in a good way, that really added to the psychological intrigue of the character. Kidman and Law were excellent, in an occasional creepy way. Brenden Gleeson, Natalie Portman, Kathy Baker, Giovanni Ribisi, and Philip Seymour Hoffman offered stellar performances as supporting cast members. Perfect villain in Ray Winstone’s Teague, inducing terror and suspense. Portman's part was emotionally intense, and Kathy Baker's was heartbreaking.
The battle scenes are beautifully shot and bone-chilling, especially due to the scoring. Everything is perioded down to the last detail of every scene, every actor. The literary allusions: Brontes, Odyssey, Shakespeare. AGH! My mind! Everything about this movie is awesome.
“They call this war a cloud over the land. But they made the weather and then they stand in the rain and say 'Shit, it's raining!'” -Ruby (Zellweger)