It’s cold and rugged and cruel. The atmosphere in a little village up in the mountains somewhere in Western America. During the Civil War.
When deserters are shot, able men have to be in the Army..dont understand then why some men are left behind to kill and loot and take the law in their hands.
Renée Zellweger consents to look ugly and terrible in the part of hardworking farm labourer, swaddled in thick layers and wearing boots and striding around in uncombed hair. But she did win an award for this I think.
Nicole Kidman wears almost the same things but can her beauty ever be swaddled. She shines through as an idealistic young girl waiting for her 'true love' with so much belief and passion.
And it does win through. 3 of her 103 letters get through and Inman (it sounds so Muslim) battles through hostile country to reach her, scarred from his experiences.
This movie is a lot about strong women and a little about bestial men.
On the way, Inman takes shelter with several people. Different little stories.
One a preacher who is crying because he 'has to' kill the slave girl he has impregnated. One old woman lives by herself in the forest with a couple of goats who nurses him through a gun wound. One moment she is petting the goat and the next, she drives a knife neatly into it.
Another lone woman who has lost her husband and lives with her baby and cant understand her own craving for human warmth in his form.
But essentially its success is in the thread of love that stays and persists against all odds. Or gives a meaning to life which is bleak otherwise.
Are all the great stories of the world love stories?