Literature: Cold Mountain
A 1997 novel by Charles Frazier (made into a film
in 2003 starring Nicole Kidman
, Renee Zellweger, and Jude Law) which tells the story of Ada Monroe, who moves from Charleston to rural Cold Mountain with her aging (and ailing) father for his health, and W.P. Inman, a terse but goodhearted young man. Just as Ada and Inman seem to be developing a relationship, Inman leaves to fight for the Confederate Army and, after being wounded in battle, decides to desert and walk through often hostile territory to get back home to Ada. Meanwhile, Ada's father has died and she must learn how to survive on her own.
So, as Inman is Walking the Earth to return to Ada
, frequently encountering the worst and the downright bizarre of human nature, Ada learns slowly how to manage a farm with the blunt assistance of Ruby, a no-nonsense country girl, whose own drunk layabout father drops in from time to time
Contains examples of:
- Abusive Parents: Stobrod, along with (and probably because of) being an Alcoholic Parent. In the film, Ruby asserts that he regularly beat her, and he doesn't deny it. In the book, however, Stobrod asserts that he never hurt Ruby once — but he neglected her to an abusive extent, anyway.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: Ada and Ruby are both brunettes in the book and blonde in the movie.
- Ambiguously Brown: Ruby is described as being dark-skinned, with a broad nose and hair the texture of a horse's mane. Whether this is due to mixed racial heritage, or simply her rough outdoors life, is up to interpretation. If she's mixed-race, it certainly would help explain why she can't get a job with anyone but a desperate city slicker.
- American Accents: Dixie, specifically.
- The American Civil War
- Ascended Meme: On The Late Show, shortly after the film's release, David Letterman would frequently play audio clips of Renee Zellweger saying "If you need help, here I am," and "There ain't no man better'n me," from the movie, completely without context.
- Babies Ever After: at the end of the film.
- Blood from the Mouth: When Inman is shot at the end.
- Bullet Holes and Revelations: When Boisie and Inman face off at the end. Twice, first Boisie is shown dead, then Inman mortally wounded.
- California Doubling: The film was mostly shot in Romania, as the real South has too many paved roads and telephone wires.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Ruby, in a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
- The Cameo: Jack White as Georgia.
- Chocolate Baby: In the book, Junior complains that his wife delivered a chocolate baby to him after they'd been married a year.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Torture on short notice is Teague and the Home Guard's specialty.
- Daddy's Girl: Ada
- A Date with Rosie Palms: Ada indulges in "the easement of maiden, spinster, and widow," and, being the daughter of a minister, feels suitably guilty over it.
- Determined Widow: Sarah and Ada.
- Death by Sex: If the clothes come off, something bad is about to happen to somebody.
- Did Do The Research: principally in regard to dramatizingThe Battle of the Crater.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: Inman
- Disappeared Dad: Ruby, Inman, and Ada. Ada's dies, but Ruby's comes back.
- Evil Albino: Boisie
- Fourth Date Marriage: Ada and Inman both admit they haven't interacted much.
- Greek Mythology: While not directly referencing the epic, the story closely follows that of The Odyssey, with the setting, context and names changed. In the book, Ada reads to Ruby from The Odyssey, and Ruby likes it, but thinks that Odysseus might be a bit less honest and more wily than the epic lets on.
- The Hero Dies: Inman himself at the end.
- Her Heart Will Go On: Ada at the end.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Ruby and Ada eventually turn into this. In the final, they're still working together with their children and Ruby's husband.
- Hypocrite: Veasey. He's a priest and repeatedly lectures people about doing things the godly way, yet, while engaged, impregnated a woman out of wedlock, attempted to drown her, and repeatedly messes around with other women throughout the rest of his time in the book, not including all of the other underhanded stuff he does.
- Intelligence Equals Isolation: Ada, more so in the novel than the film. This is gradually subverted over the course of her friendship with Ruby, who is Book Dumb, but very observant, and knowledgeable about aspects of the world that mystify Ada.
- Sometimes, this even extends to her relationship with Inman, who is confused and upset when Ada shields herself with upper class manners out of pure habit.
- I Will Fight No More Forever: Inman uses this as an explanation for why he's willing to let Boisie go instead of just shooting him which ultimately results in both of their deaths when Boisie refuses to back down.
- I Will Wait for You: Ada.
- Marshmallow Hell: Done to Inman by a black woman.
- Missing Mom: Ada's, Inman's, and presumably Ruby's mothers are all dead.
- Not Good with People: Sally Swanger remarks that Inman normally "wouldn't say boo to a goose."
- Now or Never Kiss: Inman's about to head to war, so he plants one on Ada despite having only spoken with her a few times.
- Off with His Head!: Ruby decapitates an annoying rooster with her bare hands.
- Orphan's Ordeal: Ada, having been taken care of all her life, has no idea what to do when her father dies.
- Oscar Bait: An epic historical drama, based on a bestselling book which was in turn based on the letters passed between the author's ancestors, featuring death, racism, and philosophical musings... nominated for seven Oscars and won for Best Supporting Actress (Renee Zellweger as Ruby.)
- Plucky Girl: Ruby is this Up to Eleven, having had to fend for herself virtually all her life. Ada becomes one of these.
- Psycho for Hire: Teague and all his men.
- Secret Stab Wound: After Boisie falls from his saddle dead Inman reveals that he also has been mortally wounded.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Inman.
- Shown Their Work: Particularly in the book.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Inman deserts after being shot in the neck and receiving Ada's letter asking him to come back to her.
- Sinister Minister: Reverend Veasey is not only an adulterer, but he almost drowns a slave woman who is pregnant with his illegitimate child.
- Small Girl, Big Gun: Ruby, Ada, and Sarah all carry shotguns or rifles for hunting and/or self-defense, compared to Inman and his standard-issue military pistol.
- Someone to Remember Him By
- Snow Means Death
- Southern Belle: Ada
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Ruby and Ada, respectively.
- Tsundere: Ruby. She's brash, if not quite a Jerkass, and pretends not to care about Georgia or her father but is really quite a softie.
- Voiceover Letter: opens the film.
- Young Gun: Bosie