A Film Review by Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!
This movie is supposed to be romantic but at no moment did I feel a single ounce of care for anybody in the film,, despite a resounding performance by Jessica Brown Findlay. And perhaps nothing is more offensive to the entire enterprise than Akiva Goldsman’s script, which is so incoherent it feels insulting. A Russian couple sails a child down to New York in what was obviously supposed to be something resembling emotional parallelism to Moses but is just confusing because you’re not really sure as to why that’s happening. And in the next fifteen minutes the movie just flies over everywhere and you’re just trying to follow it with about as much success as a coherent camera shot in a Michael Bay movie. And it’s so hokey. “What’s the best thing you’ve ever stolen?” “I’m beginning to think I haven’t stolen it yet.” Oh, for ****’s sake.
Winter’s Tale is almost two hours long but it feels like four or even eight. It just drags and drags and drags without having anything remotely resembling cohesiveness. And God forbid you actually acutely pay attention to the numbers. Once you notice how far the math and ages, I swear you can’t pay attention to anything else. I’m sorry, but Collin Farrell does not look 21. Russell Crowe in his villainous role is okay, but if it reminds you of Javert, that’s probably not helpful either. Caleb Deschanel shot the film and it is absolutely gorgeous to look at. It’s stunningly gorgeous in so many places I could just watch the visual and turn it on mute for the majority of it. But then I would probably notice the sheer stupidity on display. Nor is the movie edited or directed in any coherent fashion. It’s a stunningly dismal directorial debut from Akiva Goldsman.
I will say that for everything bat**** crazy in this movie (and there’s a lot), the romance between Findlay and Farrell actually works. The dialogue piece mentioned above is an example of how the movie doesn’t bother to stop in that instance and allow the characters to breathe. If this was a straight-up winter romance just between the two as they grapple with her illness, I might have actually liked this movie. The two are so charming together that you almost forget that there really isn’t a movie that exists around the two of them. It also has a Russell Crowe demon. Akiva Goldsman is not a talented writer, even though he won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for the 2001 film A Beautiful Mind (which I despised and I know I’m going to a ton of hate for that). But this is buy far the worst work he’s ever done, and that’s saying something. It’s just scattershot, like Goldsman just got massively drunk and just pounded away at his keyboard. Don’t see this movie. I guess at least Russell Crowe doesn’t sing in this, does that count as a positive? Maybe. Anyhow, don’t see this movie. There are better ways to spend your time.
Title: Winter’s Tale
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Akiva Goldsman
Produced by: Akiva Goldsman, Marc E. Platt, Michael Tadross, Tony Allard
Screenplay by: Akiva Goldsman
Based On: Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin
Starring: Colin Farrell, Jessica Brown Findlay, Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt, Eva Marie Saint, Russell Crowe, Will Smith
Music: Hans Zimmer, Rupert Gregson-Williams
Cinematography: Caleb Deschanel
Editing: Wayne Wahrman, Tim Squyres
Production Company: Village Roadshow Pictures, Weed Road Pictures
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures, Roadshow Entertainment (Australia & New Zealand)
Running Time: 118 minutes
Release Dates: February 13, 2014 (London), February 14, 2014 (United States)
Image Courtesy: Wikipedia