Site not look beautiful? Click here


Film review: ‘Winter’s Tale’ can’t decide between magic and realism

Ah, love. And time travel. And magical horses.
Jeffrey M. Anderson

Two and a half stars

Winter's Tale Colin Farrell, Russell Crowe, Jessica Brown Findlay. Directed by Akiva Goldsman. Rated PG-13. Opens Friday.

Wildly successful screenwriter-turned-producer Akiva Goldsman has made a career out of over-explained, half-witted movies ranging from Batman & Robin to Angels & Demons, so it’s practically a threat that he has subsequently turned director, and taken Mark Helprin’s beloved 1983 novel Winter’s Tale with him.

Oddly, the result is more just okay than it is howlingly terrible. It’s as if Goldsman learned everything about directing from Ron Howard, with whom he’s collaborated four times. Winter’s Tale is competent and serviceable, without ever becoming extraordinary or exhibiting any personality or artistry.

Colin Farrell’s presence at least adds some meat to the movie. He plays Peter Lake, an orphaned thief in 1916 New York City who falls in love with the consumptive Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown Findlay) and believes it’s his destiny to save her, with the help of a flying white horse. One hundred years later, he’s somehow still alive and finds that he has a different destiny.

It’s supposed to be magic realism, but the movie flips back and forth between magic and realism, without ever finding a tone for both at the same time. This allows the movie to get away with some ridiculously goopy moments, but other moments are simply ridiculous.


Commenting Policy

  • No movie could live up to the amount of controversy that Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s dopey comedy has been subject to recently.

  • Weekly film critics pick their 10 favorite movies of the year.

  • Weekly's film editor Josh Bell picks his favorite TV shows of the year.

  • Get More Film Stories
Top of Story