13 pressing questions I had about “Winter’s Fail”… “Winter’s Tale”

Published 1:55 pm Saturday, February 15, 2014

By Lauren Bradshaw

Sometimes when movies go wrong, they go REALLY wrong. Unfortunately, “Winter’s Tale,” based on the acclaimed novel of the same name, is one of those films.

It is confusing, ridiculous and terribly unromantic. Actually, I’m not even sure if the plot was confusing or if I was just too bored to give it my full attention. Either way, it is not the Valentine’s Day romance you were hoping for. Of course, I am always excited when a film highlights redheads, but not even that shout-out could save it (though I did enjoy flipping my hair more on the walk out of the theater).

Set around the turn of the century in New York City, “Winter’s Tale” centers on Peter Lake (Colin Farrell). As a child, Lake came to Ellis Island with his immigrant parents, but due to his father’s illness, the family was denied entry into the United States. In order to give their son a better life, the parents placed their baby in a toy ship and lowered him into the Hudson River. Somehow the boat found its way to the shores of New York and I guess someone found Peter and raised him?

Anyway, years later we meet Peter as a grown man. Although he was once a member of crime lord, and apparent demon, Pearly Somes’ (Russell Crowe) gang, for some reason he isn’t anymore. Now he is forced to run for his life away from the mob, with the help of a flying horse, of course (rhyming intended). Before he leaves the city, however, he decides to rob a wealthy house while the family is on vacation. Little does he know, one of the family members, Beverly (Jessica Brown Findlay) hasn’t left yet. Beverly has consumption (tuberculosis) and uses the cold weather for relief. When the two discover each other, they immediately have a love connection that will withstand the test of death and time… or not.

Because I was so confused by “Winter’s Tale” and disappointed that it wasted such a talented cast, I decided to make a SPOILERY list of the top 13 questions I had while watching the movie. Hopefully this further illustrates why you should choose another movie this Valentine’s Day weekend:

1) First and foremost, what was this even about? Maybe fans of the book will be able to understand the plot better than I did, but half the time I was bored and lost.

2) Why was Russell Crowe’s character so angry with Colin Farrell? Was that ever clear?

3) Why did the filmmakers waste such talented actors as Matt Bomer and Jennifer Connelly? Their characters could have been played by anyone.

4) Was there a chemistry read for this film? To me, Colin Farrell and Jessica Brown Findlay seemed more brother/sister than lovers.

5) More importantly, why in the world would “Winter’s Tale” commit the unforgivable sin of covering up Bomer’s beautiful baby blues with brown contacts?!

6) How in the world was Beverly’s hair supposedly red? It looked more brown to me.

7) Why didn’t Beverly show any signs of illness for the entire film a la Satine in “Moulin Rouge?”

8) Did Colin Farrell seriously sex someone to death? More importantly, did this bring back any memories of “Downton Abbey” for Findlay?

9) What the hell was that incredibly distracting stunt casting with Will Smith all about?

10) Where did Peter Lake go for like 100 years?

11) How did Farrell and Connelly so easily find microfiche of a random New Year’s party?

12) Are we really supposed to believe Colin Farrell was 21 and Eva Marie Saint was 107 years old and still running a newspaper?

13) Is the run time seriously only 115 minutes? It felt more like 315 minutes.

My Review: D-/F