I was invited by Warner Brothers to a happy hour before seeing the movie. In retrospect, it appears they wanted to make sure I was good and liquored up before seeing Winter’s Tale. In retrospect, I should have gotten good and liquored up.
Colin Farrell stars as Peter – a turn of the century, 20-year old (Yes, Colin Farrell is playing a 20-year old. I guess Robert Pattinson had better offers.) rogue and thief living in New York City and on the run from an evil crime lord, Pearly (Russell Crowe). Peter double crossed Pearly on some sort of deal or another, so Pearly wants to rub him out, but that’s going to be harder than anyone imagined.
You see (and this is where you start rolling your eyes, because I did), Peter finds a magical horse that leads him to his destiny. He decides to rob a house, but meets up with the owner’s daughter, Beverly (Jessica Brown Findlay). Of course, she’s beautiful, and dying! She has “The Fever”, also known as Consumption, so she doesn’t have much longer to live.
Instead of being shocked and screaming for help when confronted by an armed and dangerous robber, she invites him to tea (maybe he knows how to make a tasty peach pie). It’s true love, but Pearly is out for vengeance (and he’s some sort of demon who answers to Lucifer, so he’s not going to just stop).
Why does Pearly need to stop Beverly and Peter?
Will Peter be able to love the consumption out of her?
And, THEN IT GETS WEIRD!!!!! I thought Labor Day had the most ludicrous plot of the year, but it looks like freaking Hamlet next to Winter’s Tale.
It’s a movie so ridiculous that I have to ask if all romance writers think women are idiots. We know women are not idiots, but the decisions they make in movies like this are idiotic.
We have the young sick girl serving tea to the armed robber (even her overly protective father warms up to the guy!).
We have another woman meeting a homeless man who can’t remember his name or where he’s from and inviting him to a nice tasty chicken dinner because he looks like Colin Farrell. SERIOUSLY???
Worst of all, writer/director Akiva Goldsman (based on the novel by Mark Helprin) presents Winter’s Tale as an unholy mixture of Sci Fi, sappy love story and a dark, evil graphic novel about otherworldly powers. That mixture is about as tasty as dipping pickles in your peanut butter.
However, what makes Winter’s Tale so bad is how it should be so much better. This is not C-level talent making this movie.
Goldsman won an Oscar for writing A Beautiful Mind.
Russell Crowe won an Oscar for A Beautiful Mind and has two other nominations.
Jessica Brown Findlay is on Downton Abbey!
Everyone here is leveraging their reputations to get us excited about Winter’s Tale, but it’s a shocking disappointment. We have no real passion and no chemistry. Goldsman and Helprin have to count on the audience’s lack of math skills to explain how Farrell is playing a dude who should be 20-years old or so (and he’s not), while another character, who shows up about 100 years later, should be over 100 years old.
One character says if you live long enough, you see things don’t add up, so this is the movie for you if you are 100 years old.
Winter’s Tale is rated PG-13 for violence and some sensuality.