Director: Akiva Goldsmith
Cast: Colin Farrell, Jessica Brown Findlay, Jennifer Connelly, Eva Marie Saint, William Hurt, Russell Crowe, Matt Bomer
Running Time: 118 minutes
Release Date: 13 February 2014
The New Daily says:
I have not read Mark Helprin’s 1983 novel upon which Winter’s Tale was based, nor do I know anything about it. I can, however, tell you that the film version of Winter’s Tale, a century-spanning romance with lashings of the supernatural, most certainly does not do justice to the book.
The film, which jolts between 1915 and present day New York, tells the story of Peter Lake (played by Colin Farrell with a very bad haircut), an orphaned thief on the run from a vengeful former father figure, mobster Pearly Soames (played by Russell Crowe in an ill-informed, potentially career-ending turn as half man, half monster). Very little explanation is given as to why Soames is so hell-bent on killing Lake, nor as to why a flying horse suddenly appears out of nowhere to save the day.
The plot gets even more confusing with the introduction of Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown Findlay), a wealthy, beautiful young woman dying of consumption (the word for old school tuberculosis) who Lake falls madly in love with while attempting to rob her house. Findlay, of Downton Abbey fame, nearly rescues the film with her unadulterated charm, but is dampened by a soggy Farrell, who delivers cheesy lines that elicit an audible groan from the audience.
The movie completely jumps the shark with a bizarre cameo from a demonic Will Smith halfway through, as well as the late introduction of Jennifer Connelly, who blithely accepts the farfetched plotline with a pained look on her face. The film has a sweet heart, good intentions and an interesting message, but is ruined by an erratic script delivered by actors who appear to think it’s a comedy.
At one point, a beleaguered Jennifer Connelly turns to Farrell with wide eyes, demanding “What is happening here?”
That pretty much sums it all up.
Entertainment Weekly says: “A sort of supernaturally inflected Aladdin/Walk to Remember/The Fountain mashup.”
WINTER’S TALE (movie) is really enigmatic. Deeply flawed, yet still oddly magical. Also I cannot explain the title choice. #WintersTale
— Giles Hardie (@gileshardie) February 10, 2014
I am REALLY concerned about WTF is happening with Colin Farrell’s hair in Winter’s Tale – J
— Go Fug Yourself (@fuggirls) January 23, 2014
if i could punch any movie i would punch “winter’s tale”
— Bill Hanstock (@sundownmotel) January 28, 2014
Winter’s Tale: just when you thought Will Smith couldn’t sink any lower than After Earth. Worryingly, he’s not the worst thing in it.
— Stephen A Russell (@SARussellwords) February 10, 2014
Kids? A few scary monster moments and one sex scene disqualify those under 12.
See it: Or just don’t.