This movie played at the theater in February of this year. I saw the preview several times and was captivated by what I saw. Unfortunately, I missed seeing the film on the big screen. I’ve been waiting for the dvd release, checking on it periodically. Tuesday of this week it became available. For my first today, I watched Winter’s Tale.
Winter’s Tale stars Colin Farrell, Russell Crow, Jessica Brown Findlay, William Hurt, Will Smith and Jennifer Connelly. The film, classified as a fantasy drama, was written and directed by Akiva Goldsman and is based on the novel of the same title, written by Mark Helprin. It is rated PG-13 and has a run time of 1 hour and 58 minutes.
Set in New York, and spanning more than 100 years, the story follows Irishman Peter Lake, played by Colin Farrell. His immigrant parents, who were not allowed to enter the United States, secretly send their son to shore in a small boat. As a youth, he learns to survive by stealing. He is a very good thief, combining his desire to live with a knack for manipulating mechanical things, such as safes. He’s had a falling out with local bad man, Pearly Soames, played menacingly by Russell Crow, who wants Peter dead. Peter finds a magical white horse, and together they rob a few mansions to pay for the necessary trip out of town, and away from harm’s way.
In the last house he intends to rob, Peter meets heiress Beverly Penn (Jessical Brown Findlay) a beautiful young woman who is dying of consumption. The course of their lives changes as Peter falls in love with Beverly and hopes that his love for her is so strong that she will be able to cheat death. Beverly, who has accepted her fate, wants to experience love and romance before she dies.
This was a beautiful movie. It doesn’t matter to me that critics snubbed it. Some films I simply enjoy and watch for entertainment. Some I watch because they are inspirational or based on true stories and I learn from them. There are a few that I feel compelled to watch, and as I view them, I am touched deeply. Winter’s Tale is such a movie for me. The opening prologue, spoken by Jessica Brown Findlay’s character, Beverly, so captured me that I played it over and over before letting the move continue. She says, “Destiny calls to each of us. And there is a world behind the world where we are all connected. All part of a great and moving plan. Magic is everywhere around us. You just have to look. Look. Look closely….”
Cleverly disguised as a romance movie, Winter’s Tale is, instead, a movie about the connections we all have and how we offer to each other. It is about the larger picture and our roles in it. Peter thinks he is on the earth to save Beverly, and yet, it is what she offers to Peter that is essential. And on a much larger scale, the movie is about the battle between good and evil. Several of the characters in this movie are much more than they seem to be, including the white horse Peter is so “fortunate” to find.
I’ll be thinking about Winter’s Tale for days to come. It reminds me that I, too, have a role to play in this larger story called Life that is unfolding around me. I have gifts to offer to others and my existence here is purposeful and crucial. This is true for everyone. I want to ponder the story line over the weekend and then watch the movie again. I’m also interested in reading the book the movie is based on. Mostly, though, Winter’s Tale caused me to look inward and contemplate life and how I am connected to others and to God, and how, with raised awareness, I see the shimmering Light that binds us all, everywhere. That’s no small feat for a movie to accomplish!