Reviewed by Ken Carman for EON
I went to this movie with hesitation in my heart. Seriously: major heart slow down as far as my previous excitement level is concerned. The trailers made it look so good I swear my heart rate went up a tad. I would type, “They always do,” because trailers tend to be like commercials: offering the best and skipping the rest. But like commercials I’ve seen some really bad trailers too, even terrible trailers for what ended up being a fairly decent movie. What were they thinking? Of course I’ve seen plenty more the other way around: incredible trailer and a “what the hell am I doing in this theater being tormented by this confusing piece of trash movie?”
The reviews I’ve seen if Winter’s Tale have not been kind. I think I understand the main problem: the movie seems pretty long midway because they don’t get to the future with anything approaching a fast pace, but they had an important story in the past to tell, and the obvious intent was to do that with subtlety: something unique in an industry seeming to be seeking the next bigger boom and bang. I really appreciate that, though I think a teaser of our flawed hero crawling up on shore and seeing modern buildings in the beginning might have helped a tad… but I’d have to see it in context to be sure.
Not every movie has to be hyperactive, folks.
Our story is of a thief, pursued by what we assume are constables. They are not, but I won’t ruin the slow revealing of a truth so important to the movie, so important for the audience member to discover for themselves. He falls in love with a young woman in a house he breaks into: a young woman who has a lethal condition and could die any moment.
Mixed in with this very atmospheric movie… featuring both the atmosphere of over 100 years and the atmosphere of today… is an undercurrent of mythology that gets stronger and stronger.
There’s some interesting role casting here. Will Smith plays a very powerful mythological being and does it well. Jennifer Connelly plays a reporter/in print recipe guru who helps our hero. Both don’t seem out of place, and that’s a compliment. Jennifer has been moving away from those roles featuring the natural, every man’s fantasy, woman who has no need to be seductive: Jennifer just naturally is that. While as a guy I enjoyed that, I think for a while it hid the talents of and very good actress who is so much more than that. So good career move, in my opinion. Will almost always plays the lead. Not in Winter’s Tale. And his wise cracking good guy persona is nowhere to be seen here. I accepted them both for who they were supposed to be.
I must admit, mid movie, I felt it dragging just a tad: my only real negative comment. But otherwise I highly recommend it with a 4.
Welcome to Our End of the New movie reviews. One poster: don’t bother. Two posters: eh, OK, but a lot of problems here. Three: Good movie, just at least one problem. Four: very good. Five: if you don’t go you’re missing out. Added comments at the end: “you could wait for it to come on TV,” “best seen on the big screen” and “good for all screens,” unless other comments are added, refer mainly to the nature of the movie such as special effects, incredible sound or scenery that might make it best seen in a movie theater depending on your set up at home.