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Friday, February 14, 2014

Do you believe a prince kissing a princess will bring her back to life? Do you believe in white horses growing wings and flying? Do you believe in people turning into stars after dying? Do you believe in Lucifer, Hell and Heaven? How about the super-natural? Do you believe in love?

It being Valentine's Day weekend 3 romantic movies and "RoboCop" opened up. Being a romantic I picked "Winter's Tale" and I am still not sure what I saw! Winter's Tale opens on a confusing note spending time in 2014 and 1914 but quickly turns into an early 20th century love story between an orphan, Peter Lake (played by Colin Farrell, and an heiress Beverly Penn (played by Jessica Brown Findlay) who has consumption. Pearly Soames (Russell Crowe), who brought up Peter, taught him how to be a master thief with a natural penchant for fixing anything mechanical, including opening safes and they have a falling out. Along with being an Irish mob leader, it is the early 1900s in New York City, Pearly is also one of Lucifer's (Will Smith!)workers and he is out to end Peter's life.

Without giving away any spoilers we are suddenly in 2014 with Peter not having aged a day since we last saw him but with amnesia. He meets Virginia Gamely (Jennifer Connelly) a newspaper reporter and her young daughter Abby (Ripley Sobo) who is dying of cancer. Pearly, also ageless, is also in New York to get Peter.

The biggest surprise in the movie is the appearance of Eva Marie Saint as Willa, Beverly's younger sister, at her real age of 90. It has been 60 years since she won her Oscar for On The Waterfront and, yes, she has aged, but watching a movie like this you can see the young Edie Doyle of that movie. William hurt as Issac Penn the father of Beverly and Willa does what he can with what little he is given to work with. Almost unrecognizable is Matt Bomer in a cameo.

Colin Farrell, with his caterpillar eyebrows and puppy eyes, plays the lover role well as does Jessica Brown Findlay as the ethereal Beverly. Russell Crowe, a lot thinner than he has been in the past few years, plays Pearly as the gangster of the century sometimes going a little overboard with the accent.

New York, especially Central Park in both centuries, is shown as the vibrant city it is known as the world over.

Director and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman doesn't quite capture the novel, by Mark Helprin, that the picture is based on but there are quite a few breath taking shots throughout the movie, including the flying horse.

The love story is touching but the rest of the movie brought laughs at the wrong places and snorts at some of the explanations. And what was the cause of the scar on Pearly Soames?

"Winter's Tale" is good when it concentrates in the first hour on the love story and with Eva Marie Saint's appearance almost saving the last hour of supernatural happenings.
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