I see a lot of movies and I don’t often cry in them, even if they’re particularly soppy. This movie wasn’t soppy at all, and I cried. Twice. If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the trailer:
I have to begin by saying I love Colin Farrell as an actor. He brings such vulnerability to his roles and was fabulous in Saving Mr Banks and In Bruges. In this movie Russell Crowe was truly menacing as his adversary, Pearly, and while part of me wanted him to just leave the lovers alone because they had enough trouble already, the storyteller in me loved the complexity that Crowe’s character brought to the story. Jessica Brown Findlay as Farrell’s love interest Beverley was amazing. I wish I’d written her. She was pure and funny and so thoroughly engaging I fell in love with her as Farrell’s burglar character Peter did.
There was magic and destiny, everlasting love (which I adore), and when the movie ended I felt as if something had been left with me that I couldn’t put my finger on. As if an answer to a really big question – like why are we here – had been implanted into my brain subliminally. I just felt good. In fact, even days later, I just feel good, as if somehow I’d had it proven that life does have meaning and we are all here for a purpose.
It’s such a simple story, as fairytales often are, but it had a profound impact on me. Beverley’s father, played by William Hurt, was a particularly poignant character, and there’s a scene with a furnace late in the movie that ended with me in tears, quite unexpectedly. The movie was visually beautiful, and the story delightful in parts, frightening in others. I’m not sure I’d take children under ten to see it, but then again I can be a bit old-fashioned when it comes to censoring violence.
SPOILER: The only downside in the movie for me was Will Smith cast as the ‘big bad’. How producers imagined that one half of the comedic Men in Black duo could possibly look like he had authority over a terrifying Russell Crowe is anyone’s guess. But I didn’t buy it. I kept expecting Smith to crack a joke, and it threw me out of the story every time he was onscreen. Luckily it was a small part of the plot and didn’t mar my overall enjoyment.
So summing up I’d have to say Winter’s Tale filled me with hope, I loved the soundtrack and I can’t stop thinking about the characters. I don’t buy many movies on DVD, but this could be one that I’d like to add to my small collection of keepers. A romantic, thrilling supernatural love story that has all the fairytale elements I want to read and love to write myself. Definitely thumbs up from me.