Sunday, 2 March 2014

A New York Winter's Tale (3 Stars)

This film was released in America as "A Winter's Tale", but in this case I prefer the full title of the international version. It's a fairy tale involving angels and demons in New York, with a guest appearance by Lucifer and a dog that looks like a horse.

The story begins in New York in 1895. Colin Farrell plays Peter Lake, a man who was abandoned in a boat as a baby when his parents were refused entry into the USA on health grounds. He grew up on the streets as an orphan and became a master thief. He worked for the gang of Pearly Soames (Russell Crowe), who is really the demon responsible for "Manhattan and the five boroughs". Pearly's main intention isn't to become rich; he wants to prevent miracles happening in his territory. The angel watching over Manhattan does nothing to stop him because they have reached an agreement. When Pearly finds out that Peter is about to perform a miracle he tries to kill him, but Peter is saved by a dog who appears in the form of a white flying horse. While on the run Peter enters the house of Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown Findlay), a woman dying from the consumption (now referred to as tuberculosis). He loves her and is convinced that his love is strong enough to save her life, but she dies and is buried.

Pearly attacks Peter and pushes him off one of Manhattan's bridges. Maybe someone from America recognises it and can tell me which one it is. Peter is left for dead, but he manages to swim to the shore. When he dries himself off it's 2014, and he hasn't aged a day. He's convinced that Beverly is somewhere in the city waiting for him. Pearly attempts to kill him again, but once more Peter can rely on his flying horse.

Well. Does that sound like a mess? It is. And I haven't even mentioned other details of the story, like Will Smith's appearance as Lucifer and Beverly's younger sister. And the street paintings. And the stars. Colin Farrell is a brilliant actor, but not even he can save this film. As my regular readers know, I'm a very romantic person who believes that love is stronger than death, which is the message of this film. It might have worked as a Disney cartoon film. But not like this.

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