Portman plays Sara in the 2003 war drama Cold Mountain. She joins an all-star cast of actors that features Nicole Kidman, Renée Zellweger, and Jude Law. The film is set during the Civil War, and tells a story about an injured confederate soldier, played by Law, trying to get back home to his family in Cold Mountain, North Carolina. Director Anthony Minghella’s thoughts of Portman:
She reminds me a little of Jodie Foster, because I can see her, as time goes on, wanting to spread her wings beyond acting. Her big brain wants to be fed.