Friday, February 14 2014, 01:45 PM MST
Movie Review: Winter's Tale
2 out of 5 Stars
Directors: Akiva Goldsman
Starring: Colin Farrell, Jessica Brown Findlay, Russell Crowe
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Mystery
Recommended To: Those looking for a beautiful mess of a film that feels incomplete and under explained.
Synopsis: While robbing a mansion Peter Lake(Colin Farrell), an orphaned thief, discovers and falls in love with Beverly Penn, a dying heiress. Believing that Peter could keep Beverly from dying Pearly Soames (Russell Crowe), a servant of Lucifer, intervenes.
Review: Winter’s Tale is a beautiful looking film with an impressive cast and very little else going for it. It’s hard to know if the blame falls on Akiva Goldsman’s script or his direction (this is his directorial debut), but somewhere between the two whatever coherent meaning might have been in Mark Helprin’s novel is almost completely lost.
What we have is a story that takes place in three time periods (late 1800s, early 1900s and modern day), features angels and demons, something about miracles, a love story, a major red herring, a flying horse and a bunch of things that don’t make much sense. It feels like Goldsman was confined to making a two-hour film when an additional thirty minutes might have help to give the fantasy elements some context. As it stands the darkness vs. light aspect feels under explained, cartoonish and silly (as does Russell Crowe’s performance).
At one point Martin Scorsese was going to make this film, but he backed out and proclaimed the novel “unfilmable.” I don’t know if that is the case, but Goldsman’s film supports Scorsese’s claim.
-Ryan Michael Painter