Winter’s tale is a fabulous love story. A love story so powerful it allows miracles to happen. Surrounded by an impressive cast (Will Smith, Colin Farrell, Jessica Brown Findlay, Jennifer Connelly, and Russell Crowe), the director lets his imagination run wild and creates a beautiful fable.
The film starts in New York in 1895. The consumption epidemic is expanding and as a precaution people are being checked by doctors before entering Manhattan. Unfortunately, a young immigrant couple and their son are refused entry. Knowing that their fate is sealed, they place the infant in a model sailboat and hope that it will reach, floating, the NYC shoreline.
In 1916, the baby boy has grown up to become Peter Lake (Colin Farrell). Growing up without his parents, he has to go from one orphanage to the next until the gangster Pearly Soames (Russell Crowe) takes him under his wing and teaches him how to steal and kill. However, Peter is of a kind nature. He is happy to steal but wants to do it without spilling blood and decides to leave Pearly. Then and there, he signs his death sentence. Indeed, Pearly is not only the most ferocious gangster in New York, he is also a powerful demon.
Trying to escape his fate and survive the winter, Peter goes into a house to obtained some jewelry. There, he meets the astonishing Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown Findlay). It is love at first sight but two obstacles stand in his way. Firstly, Beverly is dying of consumption and secondly, Pearly still wishes to kill him and will not hesitate to use her against him. Peter needs a miracle that comes in the shape of a horse (sometimes winged).
This movie is made in the form of a fable and has a fabulous cast. The only things I can ask is this: What were they thinking? Did the producers asks them at gunpoint to do this film? What actor in their right mind can read such a script and say yes? I love supernatural movies and books but I couldn’t get into the whole miracle, winged horse, demon scene. It is corny and boring.
Winter’s tale is meant to inspire, to show the beauty of love and what we are capable of when in love but it fails miserably. It takes itself way too seriously. For example, the main actor jumps off a cliff on his horse. He should die but his ride grows wings and saves him. His reaction: perfectly normal. Seriously?! I understand that he has faith in his love but come on!