“Cold Mountain,” the long-awaited Civil War epic adapted by Anthony Minghella from Charles Frazier’s acclaimed novel, is ruthless and realistic in its portrayal of the hardships faced by Southerners during the war between the states. The white ones, that is: There are about 12 African-Americans in “Cold Mountain,” and if you don’t blink you might catch them as they scoot by discreetly in a few select scenes, blending into the background in a “Don’t mind me!” blur. But then, discretion is the county “Cold Mountain” lives in. Slaves are referred to, with exquisite drawing-room politeness, as “Negroes.” Best to acknowledge their existence only minimally, lest the whole notion of slavery blight the chilly romantic sheen that Minghella has worked so hard to achieve. … “
> From Salon.com’s review of Cold Mountain.