Tuesday, September 23, 2014
One Minute Movie Review: Winter's Tale
Not to be confused with Shakespeare's play of the same name, minus the “a”. This film, based on the novel by Mark Helprin, is a somewhat bizarre, slightly nonsensical, supposedly symbolic, vaguely allegorical adult fairy tale that accomplishes the near miraculous, both succeeding and failing at the same time. The story is well-told and acted, but its attempt to transition between realism and fantasy feels forced, awkward, almost fragmented. In addition, it has the worst example of a quick but charming, intensely emotional, passion filled courtship that leads up to one of the most lackluster, cold, and clumsy love scenes in cinematic history. The ensemble is wonderful, although some character interpretations and casting choices are a bit puzzling, Smith as the Devil wearing a Bob Marley shirt under a two piece suit in the 1800's comes to mind. However, Crowe, Findlay, Farrell, Connelly, Hurt, and newcomer Twiggs perform superbly, playing off each other with such honesty and authenticity that their performances are nearly mesmerizing. In addition, it possess a uniquely surprising, albeit improbable twist at the end, but it is unfortunately lessened by a plot that tries so hard to keep its audience guessing that it borders on confusing instead of intriguing. For a story of good versus evil and the conflict between destiny and free will with an attempt at an Austin and Dickens' like exploration of timeless love, this cinematic journey takes a few missteps and detours, runs into some potholes, and sputters during acceleration but in the end manages to reach its fantastical destination. 2 out of 5 Kernels; a little too much told in too short of time greatly detracts from a picture filled with plot and performance potential.