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