‘Winter’s Tale’ not average love story

Posted March 20, 2014


Colin Farrell, Jessica Brown Findlay and Russell Crowe give moving and memorable performances in the screen adaptation of “Winter’s Tale,” Mark Helprin’s 1983 novel.

"Winter's Tale"

“Winter’s Tale”

Director and writer Akiva Goldsman, (Academy Award winning screen writer of “A Beautiful Mind)” makes his directing debut a strong one.
This film is a fantastic love story with a heavy focus on good vs. evil, destiny, miracles and true love.

The kind of film viewers will either love or hate, it requires thought and a developed attention span. Full of symbolism and quotes that will make viewers stop and think, this isn’t your average girl meets boy love story.

The film takes place in Manhattan, over a century, starting in 1886 and ending in 2014. This is achieved through the use of well-done flashbacks and flash-forwards. These time jumps are clearly marked and identified by costume changes and style to avoid confusion. “Winter’s Tale” is shot on location in New York City.

The beautiful backdrop of the city is enhanced by a romantic score from Oscar winner Hans Zimmer (“The Lion King,” “Inception,” “Man of Steel”) and Rupert Gregson-Williams (“Grown Ups 2”). The film is visually pleasing, with the help of director of photography and five-time Academy Award nominee Caleb Deschanel (“The Patriot,” “Passion of the Christ,” “Fly Away Home,” “The Natural,” “The Right Stuff”).

Peter Lake, the protagonist (Colin Farrell) is an ex-mechanic turned thief, an orphan who finds himself falling for Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown Findlay) a wealthy young woman who is dying of consumption. The two meet when fate leads Peter to a huge mansion in New York City, to rob the place. Once inside, he realizes the house is not empty as he had thought and he stumbles upon Beverly.

Quickly forgetting about his plan to rob the mansion, Peter introduces himself and Beverly invites him to stay for tea. With a slightly slow start, the movie really takes off when Peter and Beverly meet and tension builds steadily resulting in a surprising and powerful climax that will leave viewers hopeful and inspired.

Their romance happens quickly and in no time at all the two are in love. There are just two problems, Beverly is dying and Peter is running from the antagonist (Russell Crowe) Pearly Soames, mob boss and demon. With the help of Horse, a magical white horse and spirit guardian, Peter does everything he can to save his true love using his gift, his miracle.

The magical world of Peter Lake is filled with angels, demons, guardians and humans. A tragic love story, “Winter’s Tale” takes place in a world where miracles are attainable, immortality is possible and magic is everywhere. The actors in the film bring this world to life with their sometimes, frighteningly believable, other times heart-wrenching, performances.

Jessica Brown Findlay, of TV’s “Downton Abbey,” is engaging, enchanting and captivating as Beverly Penn. Colin Farrell is both charming and emotionally gripping as Peter Lake. Russell Crowe is chillingly as demon Pearly Soames. Together, and with the support of incredibly talented actors like Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt (Issac Penn), and Will Smith (Lucifer) they allow viewers to immerse themselves fully in the tale.

While the film doesn’t appeal to those who want to be entertained without having to think, it’s the perfect movie for those who enjoy films with a deeper message. Fans of “Cloud Atlas” and “The Matrix” will most likely love “Winter’s Tale”; a refreshing break from the run of the mill romantic comedies and action movies out there.

  • “Winter’s Tale”
  • Starring: Colin Farrell, Jessica Brown Findlay, Russell Crowe, William Hurt, Jennifer Connelly, Will Smith
  • Director: Akiva Goldsman
  • Screenwriter: Akiva Goldsman
  • Producers: Akiva Goldsman, Marc Platt, Michael Tadross and Tony Allard
  • Production Companies: Village Roadshow Pictures, Warner Bros.
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence and some sensuality
  • Running Time: 118 minutes
  • Released: Feb. 14, 2014
  • Official Website: winterstalemovie.com