Reel Reviews: Waiting for a miracle

Russell Crowe and Colin Farrell are living metaphors in Winter’s Tale. - Warner Bros.
Russell Crowe and Colin Farrell are living metaphors in Winter’s Tale.
— image credit: Warner Bros.

Peter Lake (Colin Farrell) is a mechanic and part-time burglar living in New York near the end of the 19th century.

When he breaks into an impressive estate that appears empty, he discovers a beautiful young woman, Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown Findlay), who is dying of consumption. They fall in love in the brief amount of time she has left.

After her death, Lake is confronted by Pearly Soames (Russell Crowe),  an Irish demon who believes he has thwarted Lake’s God-given gift as a miracle worker, as he was unable to save his beloved Beverly. However, Lake continues to live on, much like Soames, without ageing.

When Soames throws Lake off the Brooklyn bridge, the seemingly immortal Lake forgets his purpose in this life.

In the year 2014, Lake rediscovers his purpose in the proper use of his miracle.

We say, “It’s about how we’re all miracles waiting to happen.”

TAYLOR: This is a fun, rich, interesting film that is being completely mis-marketed as some kind of weird romantic movie. It is not your typical romance. It has romantic moments, but really, is a much larger film in scope, about good and evil.

HOWE: As the old saying goes, don’t judge a movie by its trailer. I wasn’t looking forward to this week’s review as we had to pick either Endless Love or Winter’s Tale. Oh no, not two love stories in one week.

Luckily (or not so luckily,) we also had Robocop to split them up, so we tossed a coin to decide what we would also see. After leaving the theatre, two words came to mind summing up the movie, pleasantly surprised.

TAYLOR:  I too was surprised to find myself enjoying this film in short order. I thought I was going to see some film about an inappropriate relationship between a greasy pedophile and some young girl. Another one of those “love finds a way to take this situation from gross to beautiful,” like any movie made from a Nicholas Sparks novel (excluding The Notebook.) However, within 10 minutes I had no idea what was going on and more importantly, I wanted to know. The mysterious aspect of this tale is what holds your attention, then it is the magic of the story that provides the payoff. Going into this film blind is rewarding, but because of it not being marketed as a deeper, more spiritual film, I fear this great little movie will fall by the wayside.

HOWE: One thing that has impressed me the last couple of movies that featured Farrell was his acting ability. In Winter’s Tale you can feel his pain at the loss of his loved one. Hopefully he doesn’t go back to making dross like Miami Vice or Total Recall because that would be a waste of his talent.

TAYLOR: That’s true. Farrell has found a niche that suits him well, damaged goods. I’m now curious to see if he can play other characters too. Winter’s Tale also contains some really impressive cameo appearances. I don’t want to spoil the surprises in store for viewers, so let me just say, if you’re at all interested in a strange, poetic twisting of very old themes, wrapped up in a sappy movie about true love, this film won’t disappoint.

Taylor gives Winter’s Tale 3 terrible “Oirish” accents out of 5.

– Howe gives it 3.5 rubies out of 5.

The film is currently playing at the Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon.

Peter Howe and Brian Taylor are movie reviewers based in Vernon, B.C. Their column runs every Friday and Sunday in The Morning Star.

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