Winter’s Tale Flies High!
Based on the best selling novel by Mark Helprin and directed by famous producer Akiva Goldsman, Winter’s Tale is an epic love story with all the flights of fancy you would never expect. Angels, Demons, magic beds, love at first sight, miracles and eternal youth are just some of the mythological elements stirred together in this romantic rollercoaster.
Collin Farrell plays Peter Lake, left in New York in the late 19th century by his parents who had to be turned away. Raised on the streets and turned into a thief by his mentor, crime boss Pearly Soames, played with an over-the-top brilliance by Russell Crowe. As the picture begins Peter and Pearly are having a falling out and a major plot of the film will be Pearly’s lifelong attempt to kill Peter.
After being saved by a white horse that appears before him and taken to safety, and before leaving the city to escape Pearly’s grasp, Peter decides to rob one last house. While there, he accidentally stumbles upon Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown Findlay of Downton Abbey fame), a young woman who is very ill and very pleasant considering he is robbing the place. They of course fall instantly in love, making Beverly’s father (the wonderful as always William Hurt) very suspicious of Peter’s intentions.
I hesitate to tell anymore of the plot since part of the joy for me and the person I saw it with was constantly being surprised by more and more strange events and characters in the film. Many different mythologies and religious figures are spread throughout, weaving a tapestry of interesting conflicts and resolutions. It isn’t just angels and demons and God and the Devil, there are parts from astrology, parts from fairytales and even Greek mythology all through out the story and one of the most surprising aspects is that they somehow, make it all work. It all makes sense in this world and for these characters and their stories. You don’t so much question what is happening or why, but accept it in the context of this world and enjoy it for what it is.
Colin Farrell does a fine job considering he has to play a very confused man for most of the film. He doesn’t really understand any of the things happening to him anymore than we do at first. William Hurt is excellent as always as a rich newspaper magnate and the father of Protective Beverly. Jessica Brown Findlay in her first big film role coming off her success as the youngest daughter on Downton Abbey is also excellent, you genuinely feel for her and her illness and can easily see why Peter falls in love with her at first sight. Russell Crowe chews scenery as an over-the-top villain, but once you learn his true motivation this all seems right. There are some excellent cameos by some very big stars that I won’t ruin for you, not only are they in pivotal roles but it is a great joy when they suddenly show up on screen.
Winter’s Tale is the perfect movie for a night out in this strange and horrible weather and will definitely warm the heart and soul.
What's your favorite epic romance?
Image Credit, Image Courtesy of Village Roadshow Pictures
About The Author
Maximilian Tieman is a lifelong Torrington resident and has been a film buff since his mother brought him to the movies as a child. He is a graphic designer and print specialist and manages the Franklin Print Shoppe in downtown Torrington.
Special thanks to Torrington's Digiplex Destinations.