The Blog

Cold Comfort

"Cold Mountain," the season's biggest slab of Oscar bait, comes to theaters. Audiences will be deeply moved. Or else.

11:00 PM, Dec 11, 2003 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
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Compounding the problem is the suspicion that all this emotional manipulation is the meta level of a more near-at-hand manipulation. One gets the sense that Minghella is attempting to create a movie designed not for audiences, but for Oscar consideration. Prestige actors with Academy track records? Check. Literary pedigree? Check. Epic canvas? Check. Tragic second and third acts, but an epilogue designed to maximize box office prospects? Check. Studio backing from Miramax? Check.

No doubt Minghella will achieve this goal--"Cold Mountain" is as close to a sure thing as there is for a Best Picture nomination. But it may leave you feeling a bit used.

Jonathan V. Last is online editor of The Weekly Standard.