Friday, 23 July 2010

Best Actor 2003: Jude Law in Cold Mountain

Jude Law received his second Oscar nomination for portraying W. P. Inman a confederate deserter in the civil war in Cold Mountain.

Cold Mountain is a film that has some interesting moments but overall it is a bit of a confused effort partially due to its inability to keep a successful tone for the film.

Jude Law's performance as Inman is a rather interesting nomination because it is not showy in the least. The most showy thing Law does in the film is the fact he does a southern accent I suppose. He is actually fine with the accent because he does not overdo it unlike fellow cast members whose last name starts with a Z, it might be perfect but it is not distracting. But beside that Law never really has many "acting" scenes so to speak. There are not many scenes where he has to really control a scene with his performance instead he mostly reacts to what is going on around him.

I do not have a problem with that really because what he does do suits his purpose in the film well, because he acts as a guide through the Civil War South, someone that the viewer follows and experiences the stranger things with. He really has a mostly standard leading  man role and he does a fine job with it. He is always a fine presence throughout the film. He never does or needs to do anything overly amazing with his performance but he is good throughout.

He can always be watched plainly and keeps his story interesting enough to follow, but this is not the greatest lead performance ever. Law does not have the greatest screen presence ever but he has a fine presence. Law only really has one extremely emotional scene near the end and he does fine with it. His romantic chemistry with Kidman is fine.  Everything about his performance is fine. He never is great but he never is bad. A performance that completely serves its purpose and is never wrong.


joe burns said...

Hmm, a four from me, I think. His performance grew on me, though it is a bit underwhelming.

What did you think of Zellweger?

Louis Morgan said...

Her performance was a bit much, and part of the problem with the tone of the film.

Anonymous said...

A very high four rating from me.

I thought he was really at the peak of his career here.

Fritz said...

I think he is fantastic (just as Renée; Nicole was boring). Bonus points for showing his butt! :-)