'Cold Mountain' Director Anthony Minghella

Buzz Surrounds Filmmaker's Latest During Awards Season

Listen: <b>Web Extra:</b> Hear an Extended Interview with Minghella

Minghella on set of 'Cold Mountain'

Anthony Minghella, right, on the set of Cold Mountain with star Jude Law. © Miramax hide caption

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Cover for the 'Cold Mountain' soundtrack

Cover for the Cold Mountain soundtrack (Sony, 2003) hide caption

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Anthony Minghella is the Academy Award-winning director and screenwriter for several films, including The English Patient and The Talented Mr. Ripley. His most recent film, Cold Mountain, has been nominated for eight Golden Globe awards and there's considerable Oscar buzz as the Academy Awards ceremony nears.

NPR's Karen Grigsby Bates recently spoke with Minghella about what drew an Englishman of Italian ancestry to helm a film based on a very American story — the struggle of a Confederate soldier to return to his home and his love, and a woman's struggle to survive the loss of her protective father and preserve her small farm in the shadow of Cold Mountain.

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Minghella says that to make Cold Mountain as authentic as possible, much of the film was shot in Romania and Transylvania because the countryside there is still largely unspoiled. "We discovered a landscape so pre-industrialized, so much more like a 19th-century exterior than anything I've seen in Britain or America," he tells Bates.

The underlying theme of the film, Minghella says, is the way people survive together by listening and accepting — and not by trying to kill each other. "It's about in every way to de-glamorize in every way our notion of war. War hurts, and the ramifications of it are hurtful."

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