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'Winter’s Tale' is a magical love story, fantasy, morality play, all in one

Winter's Tale


A young, accomplished thief is about to rob a rich house in 1915 when he hears brilliant piano music being played by a beautiful young woman. Within moments, the only thing stolen is his heart. That’s how “Winter’s Tale” begins, but it is by no means how it ends.

Colin Farrell (Peter Lake) and Jessica Brown Findlay (Beverly Penn) of "Winter's Tale"
Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images

Thief Peter Lake (Colin Farrell) falls hopelessly in love with the beautiful and talented Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown Findlay) in 1915, only to learn she’s dying of consumption, the archaic name for tuberculosis. Peter is also running from gangster Pearly Soames (Russell Crowe), the man who taught him his trade on the mean streets of New York City.

Pearly rightly guesses that the way to get to Peter is through Beverly. He comes very close to getting his way, but Peter swoops in on a very special white horse and rescues Beverly. Peter and Beverly indulge in a magical and all too short romance. She dies in his arms. Heartbroken, he goes to face Pearly, not really caring whether he lives or dies.

The next time we see Peter, it’s 2014 and he’s wandering the streets of New York City with no memory. He doesn’t even know his own name. He bumps into a little girl named Abby and starts to remember. Peter gets help from Abby’s mom (Jennifer Connelly) in trying to track down his past, that past now quickly colliding with the present as Peter’s memory returns. Unfortunately, so does Pearly Soames.

Winter’s Tale” is billed as a love story. It is, but it’s more than that, much more. It’s love, time shifting, fantasy, morality play and magic all rolled into 118 minutes. And although Colin Farrell carries the film as Peter Lake, the entire cast gives a rock solid supporting performance.

Colin Farrell is a fine actor and the boyish, charming rogue character that seems to come so easy to him is perfect for the character of Peter Lake. Jessica Brown Findlay was perfect as the tragic Beverly Penn who is so full of life right up until the moment she draws her last breath.

I really enjoyed the movie. The only thing that I didn't care for was the rapidly changing time frames at the start. They do a kind of look-back in the very beginning, but it shifts between two stories. I wasn't sure exactly what was going on until we settled in 1915. From that point on, I was hooked.

“Winter’s Tale” opened on Valentine’s Day and is currently playing in theaters across the country. It’s rated PG-13 for violence and some sensuality.

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