Set mainly in 1916 in New York, Winter's Tale tells the story of a two star crossed lovers who learn that each person is special and each carries their own miracle. I would categorize this film as a romantic/fantasy film. I didn't know what to expect from it and actually assumed the romance part was going to be a fleeting aspect of the story when actually it was the foundation. About 80% of the film is focused on the characters of Peter Lake (Colin Farrell) and Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown-Findlay).
Peter Lake is an orphan who doesn't know about his past and grows up on the streets of New York and becomes a thief. He works for a man named Pearly Soames (Russell Crowe) who unknown to Peter he is actually a demon. That is where the fantasy aspect of this story comes in. Pearly knows that each human has a miracle to perform while on earth and if he corrupts those miracles then it would big hit for the home team (very surprising appearance by Will Smith as the Devil). Pearly thinks Beverly is Peter's miracle and as Peter and Beverly fall deeper in love, despite her dying of consumption, he helps along with her death which spins Peter out of control.
After Beverly's death and the supposed murder of Peter by Pearly's men, Peter awakens and has no memory of his past. He continues to live unchanged and the story brings us to the year 2014. In the present is when Peter learns of the miracles, his roles in them, and changes the lives of a mother and daughter named Virginia and Abby Gamely (Virginia is played by Jennifer Connelly).
I won't share the end because a lot builds up to it but I must confess I found it poetic and lovely. I know this film didn't do well in the box office and for many it would be an acquired taste but I love how much I ended up enjoying it.
My favorite bits are the interaction between Peter and Beverly, the random hug her father gives to Peter, and the presence of a classic film star, Eva Marie Saint, playing an older version of Beverly's younger sister.
What disappointed me or confused me was Peter's accent. It was Irish (the actor is Irish) and although Pearly's accent is also Irish (he raised him), I think it would have been fitting to have had a authentic New York accent of that time. Will Smith. Interesting scenes but he just shouldn't have been in the film at all. The film could do without those scenes. And lastly, how the heck could Eva Marie Saint's character of Willa have been 103-105 years old and still running her newspaper? They should have pushed it back to like the year 2000 or so. Much more convincing.
Otherwise, I enjoyed the uniqueness of this tale. It is loosely based on a book by the same name and I truly enjoyed Farrell's performance.
Have you seen this film? What did you think? Anything surprise you or disappoint you?