I knew absolutely nothing about the film Winter’s Tale when I sat down in the theatre. The title made me think of adventures in the snow, maybe some sweet story set in winter, but what I got was very different from expected. I think not knowing anything about it made it an experience I won’t forget, but I’m not sure that makes it a good movie.
The story, when I explained it simply, is a fairy-tale romance. A young orphaned thief falls in love with a dying girl. It turns out the evil forces of the universe (read demons and Satan) doesn’t want him to save her, because they’re all about destroying all the good in the world.
When I tried to explain the details, including which actors are playing the different roles, I got a reaction somewhere between skepticism and laughter. Colin Farrell plays the lover of Jessica Findley (Lady Sybil from Downton Abbey) and although the age-difference isn’t a stretch in Hollywood, it still felt odd compared to all the other supernatural romances with young, unknown, actors in them. Then we have Russell Crowe as an Irish gangster-boss/demon. And it’s all set in 1913, Brooklyn. Oh, and Will Smith is Satan. That’s when I lost most people.