DIRECTED BY: Akiva Goldsman
WRITTEN BY: Akiva Goldsman
STARRING: Colin Farrell, Jessica Brown Findlay, Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Will Smith, William Hurt
RATING: 1 star
I paid close attention to Winter's Tale but I still didn't quite understand it. The story, which has a lovely sentiment, is full of so many plot holes it was too hard to get passed them to enjoy the message. It is essentially a love story, but it is convoluted with angels, demons, the Devil, a magical horse, potions, miracles and some other vague supernatural things that are not explained properly. This film is a mess, which is both sad and surprising considering it comes from writer/director Akiva Goldsman, who also wrote amazing films like A Beautiful Mind and A Time To Kill.
Based on the novel by Mark Helprin, Winters Tale is about an orphaned Irishman living in New York named Peter Lake (Colin Farrell) who is a mechanic and a thief. When his gang leader, a demon named Pearly Soames (Russell Crowe), becomes disappointed in him, Peter's life is at risk. While on the run, he meets and falls in love with Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown Findlay), a rich girl dying of consumption.
The best aspect of this film is the cast. Findlay is a delight to watch. Her performance is the strongest and most endearing with a character that is both innocent and wise. Farrell is as good as he can be with the script he has been given and brings some charm. I cannot imagine what drew Crowe to his role other than to reunite with Goldsman. Maybe Crowe just wanted to practice his Irish accent? Connelly has a thankless role as the mother of an ill child who helps Peter. William Hurt plays Beverly's father and his character is interesting with his sadness and insight. In fact, I wanted to know more about him. Will Smith is just ridiculously bizarre in his small role. Every scene between him and Crowe had me giggling unintentionally.
I watched Winter's Tale to warn you not to watch it. That was two hours of my life wasted.