Writer: Sophia LingWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“Stardust”, “Upside Down” and “Romeo and Juliet”
Lately there's been a boom of films on the big screens that's 'based on a true story'. "Winter's Tale", which is based on Mark Helprin's best-selling novel by the same name, is a refreshing change from all the real life drama as it brings you into a world of fantasy.
"Winter's Tale" marks Akiva Goldsman's big screen directorial debut but he is no stranger to Hollywood. He won the Oscar for best screenplay with "A Beautiful Mind" and has since been involved in "I Am Legend", "I, Robot", "Cinderella Man" and many more films.
The film explores Mark Helprin's fantastical world where angels, demons, flying horses and humans co-exist. Peter Lake (Colin Farrell) plays a petty thief who falls in love with a dying Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown Finlay). All this while, the demonic Pearly Soames (Russell Crowe) is hunting him down to stop him from fulfilling his 'miracle'.
The story is one that is both imaginative and intriguing with a stellar cast and crew to its credit. Unfortunately, as with many other films adapted from a novel, the film does fall short in some areas. The script was a tad too lengthy and wordy that audiences might find it tedious to keep up with the dialogue. And although the film is approximately 129 minutes long, it seems as if much of the essence from the book is lost.
The cast generally did a decent job but it was Russell Crowe's performance as Pearly that has to be the most outstanding as he offers some of the better moments in the film. If anything, audiences will be thrilled to see him go all Hulk and shove Colin Farrell off a bridge. Another notable performance was by the relatively unknown Jessica Brown Findlay who is better known as Lady Sybil in the hit British TV series "Downton Abbey". She portrays Beverly Penn with such innocence, grace and sincerity.
Even with its top of the line cast, Oscar winning scriptwriter and the grandiose orchestral score by Hans Zimmer, "Winter's Tale" falls somewhat short and ends up just being average. It is still rather charming and uplifting, but is lacking a certain 'Wow factor'. On the upside, the film does have some pretty stunning visuals. The picturesque scenery and the wintery white landscape adds to the charm and romance of New York.
The film coincidentally opens the day before Valentine's Day so if you're looking for a story about everlasting love, this is it. Cinema Online, 11 February 2014