Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Oscar Movies That Weren't: Cold Mountain
What It Had Going For It: An epic period piece based on an acclaimed novel, directed by Oscar winner Anthony Minghella, and starring Oscar winner Nicole Kidman and Oscar nominees Renée Zellweger and Jude Law. It had “prestige” written all over it and it was produced by Harvey Weinstein, then just coming off a hot streak by ushering films to Oscar success. It could have been a modern day Gone with the Wind but without all those racially problematic elements.
What Went Wrong: Well... Weinstein may have successfully waged a number of Oscar campaigns in years past but by 2003, it seems, many were tired of his aggressive tactics. Its hype levels reached such critical mass that the Oscar campaign essentially imploded before the nominations were even announced. It did manage to snag a few nominations – and a Supporting Actress win for Zellweger, who had managed the impressive feat of being nominated three times in as many years – but a Best Picture nomination eluded it.
Legacy: Cold Mountain didn’t go totally without love. It received nominations from the Golden Globes, PGA, and Broadcast Film Critics, and it earned a decent score on Metacritic. It may not have been a box office juggernaut, but it had a domestic take of nearly $100 million, plus another $78 million worldwide against a production budget of $79 million, so it was a fairly successful film with audiences, too. But I’ll always remember it best for the French and Saunders parody it inspired:
Posted by Norma Desmond at 4:00 PM