Cold Mountain (2003)

Directed by Anthony Minghella

In this classic story of love and devotion set against the backdrop of the American Civil War, a wounded Confederate soldier named W.P. Inman deserts his unit and travels across the South, aiming to return to his young wife, Ada, who he left behind to tend their farm. As Inman makes his perilous journey home, Ada struggles to keep their home intact with the assistance of Ruby, a mysterious drifter sent to help her by a kindly neighbor.

In their fight for states' rights, the white folks sure had it hard. This Dollar Tree version of the The Odyssey is caught between the Scylla of overacting and the Charybdis of cringeworthy Southern accents; not engaging enough to be offensive with its obvious sympathy towards the Confederacy. I can't even quite grasp what's meant to 'epic' about this movie — to director Anthony Minghella and 'hands-on' producer Harvey Weinstein, perhaps 'epic' means including a hackneyed, sub-Terrence Mallick poetic image every five minutes or so? Even Renée Zellweger and Philip Seymour-Hoffman's performances couldn't save this pro-Confederate Gone With The Wind by way of The Color of Purple. And, err, can we talk about that somersaulting albino for a second…?