Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Movie Review: Winter's Tale
I read somewhere that Scorsese was once attached to the project, but backed out because the story was "unfilmable." After seeing it, I think I know what he was referring to, but obviously "unfilmable" it wasn't.
Plot: Peter Lake (Colin Farrell) is a thief with no parentage to speak of. When he tries to rob a rich mansion, which he believes to be empty, he finds the family's daughter, Beverly, at home. They strike up a conversation, and their love story begins. Beverly Penn is dying from a strange form of consumption that leaves her body constantly giving off more heat than is healthy. She sleeps in a tent on the roof of her home, even in winter, to keep her body heat down. Too much strenuous activity--such as dancing--could easily kill her.
Meanwhile, a demon named Pearly Soames (played by Russel Crowe) is chasing Peter around town. The premise is that every human being is allowed one miracle. Soames' entire mission is to stop these miracles from occurring. He seems to have a personal vendetta toward Peter and wants to keep him from getting his miracle, which he assumes is to save Beverly.
As per usual, things don't work out for anyone as planned, and Peter finds himself in present day, though he has no idea why. It seems perhaps the miracle he is destined for is not the one he always assumed it would be.
Characters/Acting: I really liked Peter's character. He was flawed, but utterly likable, as only Colin Farrell can be. I also really enjoyed Russel Crowe's performance here. He's not one that exudes evil--really more of a bumbling villain, in this case--but I laughed plenty of times, and he was a worthy opponent.
Oddly, Will Smith makes an appearance as Lucifer himself, who Soames often refers to as "Lou." Kind of random, but not without it's charms. Jessica Brown Findlay, Jennifer Connelly, and William Hurt round out the cast.
Overall: I thought it was charming. It had a fairy tale feel to it that I loved, and it was a genuinely sweet, tender story, though not in the way you might think. The romance was only one part of it. The story itself was much bigger than just that aspect. It had themes about faith, and about how important the destiny of each individual person on earth is, even if their destiny doesn't affect the wide world at large.
There is a flying horse. That's the part I think might have been deemed "unfilmable" and I'll admit the special effects aren't spectacular or anything, but because of the nature of the story, they don't really need to be. They aren't the point in a tale like this one.
In short, if you like a really sweet story, with a little romance, a little magic that happens when the characters take it on faith, and a whole lot of warm fuzzies, you'll like this film. If you're like me, you might even tear up a time or two.
Has anyone else seen Winter's Tale? What did you think of it?