Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Big, steaming mountain

Brokeback Mountain isn't the only mountain movie that has been misjudged.

I started to watch Cold Mountain the other night (with a promising cast including Nicole Kidman, Jude Law, Renee Zellweger, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Donald Sutherland, Giovanni Ribisi, Natalie Portman, with direction by Anthony Minghella who did "The English Patient" and "The Talented Mr. Ripley") and it was so awful my girlfriend turned to me after half an hour and said "We're not actually going to finish this, are we?" I've never turned a movie off so confidently. (And I actually liked Ripley.)

Here's the weird thing: if you go to the movie's IMDb page, you will see that it has a rating of 7.4. The ratings breakdown is even more scary. I thought that there would be a big division in the votes--lots of high votes, lots of low votes--but it isn't so. Only 12.3% of raters gave it a score of 5 or less--fewer than gave it a perfect 10 (shudder).

Choice quote from a reviewer: "I haven't personally partaken of Frazier's novel, but this film version of `Mountain' feels exactly like the slow burn of a novel coming to life." Did I mention (shudder)?

Fuck What's the Matter with Kansas. What's the matter with movie audiences?

Anonymous Katy on Wed Mar 08, 09:26:00 AM:
Ben, we can start a club. I hated Cold Mountain, too, and the people who comment on IMDb are freakin' morons--last week I came across a comment encouraging American viewers to watch Sense & Sensibility with the subtitles on so they could understand the "English way of speaking." Or some such.