Colin Ferrell is one of those actors that went from appearing in tons of major blockbusters for years to all but disappearing. Thankfully he returned a few years ago and seemed to be taking on a wider variety of projects. His latest, Winter’s Tale looked to be some sort of kids fairy tale love story and different than the norm for him, but with a decent supporting cast including Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, and William Hurt could it deliver the magic it appears to focus on?
Winter’s Tale follows an orpan and master-mechanic who attempts to rob a fortress-like mansion on the Upper West Side. Though he thinks the house is empty, the daughter of the house is home thus begins the love between a middle-aged Irish burglar, and a young girl who is dying. This story seems simple enough but there is way more going on here than just your average love story. They have taken this average story and has encased it in a fairy tale using elements of pure good and evil in conflict all while trying to move the love story and somewhat mystery of it all forward. The overall film works on some levels, but does suffer quite a bit from being really slow paced and a bit all over the place. There are some interesting elements here that are given little explaination early on and makes it a bit frustrating as you watch wondering what is going on. If you can stick with the slow pacing, it does finally somewhat explain it all and makes for an interesting direction. The cast all do a fine job with Farrell carrying it all and bringing an innocent caring performance to the role that is necessary for it to work. Crowe is a bit hit and miss here as the lead baddie. When he is on it works great, but there are times where it felt like he was phoning it in. In addition to the obvious cast there was an unexpected cameo from an actor that shows up a couple of times in a fairly important role that while didn’t require this sort of placement, still made it a moment of surprise to help boost the film a bit.
The trailer looked a bit like a family film and while this is far from an adult film it does veer just far out there with the violence to make it more than a kids film and help it work a bit more. There aren’t a ton of effects here, but the ones they do have work really well especially those involving the horse that if it hadn’t worked would have hurt this film even further. This is far from a perfect film, but if you can get through the pacing issues and some of the unintentional confusion of it all the end makes for a decent film that is worth a rental.