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Friday, February 14, 2014

Winter's Tale: Don't Take Anyone You Love to See This Movie

Posted by on Fri, Feb 14, 2014 at 11:22 AM


I know so many booksellers who get dewy-eyed when they talk about their love for Mark Helprin’s novel Winter’s Tale. It’s a thick urban fantasy that attracts an ardent fan base with a long list of pleasures: lovely language, a roguish protagonist, swashbuckling action, magic, a winged horse, and a century-spanning romance. Those booksellers will be broken-hearted if they’re ever forced to watch Akiva Goldsman’s leaden adaptation of the book. If you haven’t read the book, you’re in luck: the film version of Winter’s Tale will "only" bore you to tears.

An uncharismatic Colin Farrell stars as Peter Lake, a thief who falls in love with a consumptive uptown girl (Jessica Brown Findlay, probably the best part of the movie). He’s pursued through time and space by Russell Crowe, who plays a demonic crime boss with a slightly more worn-out version of the bored bulldog growl that he displayed in Les Miserables. Of course no film version of Winter’s Tale is going to capture the entirety of the book’s epic scope, but the damning thing about this film adaptation is that it’s so small in scope, so unmagical in every aspect of the filmmaking process, that it turns a once-in-a-lifetime adventure into a completely forgettable piece of cinematic dreck.


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AirBuddy 1
I saw the trailer for this and didn't even realize it was an adaptation of Helprin's novel. That's... too bad...
Posted by AirBuddy on February 14, 2014 at 11:51 AM · Report this
The scaffolding of the book is Paradise Lost; maybe that's what the film managed to capture.
Posted by robotslave on February 14, 2014 at 11:52 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 3
the NYT described Farrell's character as an "Artisanal Thief" which I thought was funny even though I didn't get it.
Posted by Max Solomon on February 14, 2014 at 12:09 PM · Report this
Ouch. I really, REALLY wanted this film to be as magical and gorgeous as the novel, but sadly it appears that's not the case. Some things just don't translate well from their original medium, and this may be one of those, although perhaps in the hands of a more talented - and imaginative - director, things might have turned out differently.

Still, it's a great read. Go buy the book.
Posted by COMTE on February 14, 2014 at 12:12 PM · Report this
seatackled 5
Wait, so there's no exit, chased by a bear?
Posted by seatackled on February 14, 2014 at 12:28 PM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 6
It isn't just the Stranger. Rotten Tomatoes is giving this turd 13%. Ouch! A movie usually has to be universally bad to get down into the teens on RT.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on February 14, 2014 at 2:09 PM · Report this

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