Winter’s Tale ~ A Capsule Movie Review by Allen Kopp
Winter’s Tale is a story that spans a hundred years. In 1895, a young immigrant couple is kept from entering the country because the young man has pulmonary disease. (I take that to mean tuberculosis.) They decide to leave their baby boy behind in America when they are forced to return to their native land. Twenty-one years later, in 1916, the boy, Peter Lake (played by Colin Farrell), is grown into a man and he isn’t living a good life. He is a thief working for a demon named Pearly Soames (Russell Crowe) who takes his orders from Lucifer. (Yes, it’s a fantasy.) Pearly once liked Peter Lake but now is trying to kill him because he apparently believes that Peter has turned on him. When Pearly and his henchmen have Peter cornered and are going to kill him, a magical white horse appears on which Peter escapes. That white horse plays an important part in Peter’s life and helps him to fulfill his destiny.
When Peter is robbing an imposing New York mansion in the daytime, he stumbles upon a girl named Beverly Penn who lives in the house with her younger sister and tycoon father. Beverly is twenty-one years old, is ill with consumption, and probably has only a few months to live. She should be afraid of Peter, seeing he has a gun, but she isn’t. They are inexplicably drawn to each other, as if it was always meant to be. Peter believes that the one miracle he has in him, that will come about only when he meets the person for whom the miracle is intended, is to keep Beverly Penn from dying. What we then expect to happen with Beverly doesn’t happen.
The story jumps almost a hundred years into the future, to present-day New York. Peter Lake looks just as young and as startlingly handsome as he did in 1916, even though he is about 121 years old. (Remember, it’s a fantasy.) For what reason has he been kept alive all those years and looking just the same? He has been waiting to discover his true purpose in life, to meet the one person who will allow him to fulfill his destiny.
Winter’s Tale is based on a massive novel by Mark Helprin. It’s a movie for the romantics in the audience. The terribly sophisticated among us won’t be able to suspend disbelief enough to be able to appreciate it. Isn’t suspending disbelief what going to the movies is about? I for one don’t want to see movies about real life and real people with their cell phones and their four-letter words (you know which one I mean). I’ve had enough of them already. Take me someplace I’ve never been before, to another time and place. Let me escape.
Copyright © 2014 by Allen Kopp