Based on Mark Helprin’s 1983 Novel, Oscar winning screenwriter Akiva Goldman turns Helprin’s numerous pages of angst, demonic presence and true, passionate love and transforms them into a love story encompassing the ages with his new film – WINTER’S TALE.
Enter New York City, circa 1900’s, as we meet the young orphaned thief Peter Lake (Colin Farrell). Cast aside by his mentor – turned demonic underworld servant – Pearly Soames (Russell Crowe), Peter is now running for his life from the once father-figure, who now wants to kill him. With Pearly on his heels, he is blessed with the presence of a beautiful white stallion, which helps him to escape certain death from Pearly’s gang of mobsters.
Grateful to his new companion for his escape, Peter sets out to continue to make a living the only way he knows how, by stealing. When the stallion stops at the mansion of the wealthy Isaac Penn (William Hurt), he and his family are leaving their estate for a trip to the country. Peter assumes all is clear to help himself to a few trinkets in Penn’s absence, when he is startled to find that Penn’s ailing daughter, the beautiful Raven haired Beverly (Jessica Brown Findlay), is still at home, playing Brahms and trying desperately to keep calm as to not bring on the consumption fevers that will surely take her life. It is love-at-first-sight for Peter and Beverly, as they are instantly attracted to one another, despite their many differences.
As Pearly and his boys stay in hot pursuit of finding Peter and ridding the world of him, Peter and Beverly begin a romance that everyone in their presence can see and feel, including Beverly’s little sister Willa (McKayla Twiggs). Peter realizes that he has special powers and is hoping to use them to save Beverly from her untimely death, as Willa enlists Peter’s help too, to save her sister.
Will Peter be able to save Beverly so their passionate love can live on forever? Will Pearly finely hunt Peter down and bring an end to his life? Or will this mysterious and fascinating tale bring new meaning to what we all believe – is our existence actually nothing more than our predetermined destiny? And are all our lives being driven by the basic concept of good vs. evil?
I give WINTER’S TALE a B-: Goldman pulled together a superb cast, as Farrell and Findlay were mesmerizingly beautiful together on screen, and the storyline taking you into modern day was also brilliant, but I just couldn’t bring myself to be taken in by all the fantasy/supernatural elements of this film – as much as I wanted to love it all – I just didn’t. But that doesn’t mean that if you love to live in a fantasy world, and believe that our destiny in life is purely as simple as good vs. evil, you should count this one out – you might want to prove me wrong with my take on this film!