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Winter’s Tale

February 13, 2014 by Alison Bailes divider image

I imagine that the Mark Helprin novel, on which this fantasy movie is based, is intensely beautiful and mystically romantic. But it’s a little tricky adapting magic realism to the big screen so I would like to assume that Akiva Goldsman, who also directs, has done the best possible job. After all, if the Oscar […]

I imagine that the Mark Helprin novel, on which this fantasy movie is based, is intensely beautiful and mystically romantic. But it’s a little tricky adapting magic realism to the big screen so I would like to assume that Akiva Goldsman, who also directs, has done the best possible job. After all, if the Oscar winning writer of “A Beautiful Mind” (and “Cinderella Man”) can’t do a good job, then I doubt anyone else could.

All of which is a roundabout way of saying that the film isn’t exactly a roaring success. The wild stretches of imagination needed to surmount the unlikelihood of a hero riding a white winged horse across time are extensive. But if you can surrender yourself to the suspension of disbelief, the characters and setting are nicely handled by Goldsman and his actors.

With a prologue that starts with Peter Lake (Colin Farrell) digging through an old chest in the attic above the starry sky of Grand Central station in 2014, we are then transported back to his infancy and childhood, when he grew up an orphan on the streets of Brooklyn at the turn of the 20th century. In 1916, Peter is a 21 year old thief, who owes a debt to the Fagin-like Pearly Soames (an Irish-brogued heavy played with gusto by Russell Crowe). Soames is coming after Peter, who fatefully comes into possession of the above mentioned Pegasus, which gets him out of a fair few scrapes. A portentous female voice-over, about destiny, and stars and angels reveals that we are in a make-believe world despite the New York setting. Continue reading here…


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