Winter's Tale attempts too much to be successful
Winter’s Tale is an amalgamation of far too many films and concepts to actually be a good film in any genre. This supernatural, time travel, god and demons, everything is connected, light film just doesn’t have enough time to develop any one of the traits well enough to make any sort of point.
Mindwalk – Chances are you have never seen this movie. Set at the castle of Mont St. Michel. John Heard discusses the nature of being with a French female scientist and Sam Waterston. Ione Skye makes an appearance. You get the same discussion in Mindwalk, but much better developed, as the attempted base layer for Winter’s Tale.
Gangs of New York – the central conflict appears to be one of a thief trying to leave a gang. (This is a period piece as far as the film was willing to take it.) The leader of the gang and ersatz father figure wants the thief back or killed.
The Neverending Story – Atreyu would have been more at home with the flying horse than Colin Ferrell was. Granted the actor who played Atreyu, Noah Hathaway, is all tatted up now, but that is nothing that a little make up can’t change. The horse would have also been more at home in The Neverending Story.
Gladiator – Come on, it’s Russell Crowe beating people up, or at least threatening violence against them.
Legion – so one of these movies is not like the others. If you are not familiar with Legion, it is about a renegade angel that defends people from other angels. Basically, what you need to know is that the supernatural parts of this film center on Lucifer and the demons and how they work to squash miracles.
The entire first part of the film forgets that it is a flashback, but that is only distracting if you allow it to be. Once the real story begins, the audience is immediately asked to suspend disbelief as a baby is lowered into the New York Harbor in the 1800s as if he were Moses, and his mother and father were hiding him in the bulrushes.
If the movie had focused on the period parts of the story, it would have been a passable romance story. Yes, Ferrell place a thief, but not because he wants to be one. He is repenting of what he does, and he is making a change for love. The circumstances aren’t ideal for the two meeting, but there is no other way for them to have met that wouldn’t have been more contrived.
If you believe in love at first experience, you won’t find this at all difficult to swallow. Ferrell and Jessica Brown Findlay do a great job in conveying their love for each other, and the little sister played by Mckayla Twiggs is sweet, endearing and protective. She is exactly the person that she should be.
Unfortunately, this film tries to be about that relationship and the relationship between Ferrell and Crowe and by extension, the relationship between Ferrell and the girl’s father who gets forgotten as soon as it’s convenient.
Its worst trespass, however is that of the supernatural. There is no reason to put that in there other than to be faithful to the book. Will Smith’s role had the audience laughing – and not on purpose. The demonic aspects of the story seemed forced and really irrelevant.
There may be something for everyone in the film, but that is not necessarily a good thing. Winter’s Tale is the type of film that you will want to be better, and your memory may trick you into thinking that it was or should’ve been, which is fine if you have free cable TV and are not actively choosing to watch something.
Romney's Review of Winter's Tale featuring maniacal laughter