Winter's Tale (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Akiva Goldsman|
|Screenplay by||Akiva Goldsman|
|Based on||Winter's Tale
by Mark Helprin
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures
Roadshow Entertainment (Australia & New Zealand)
|Running time||118 minutes|
Winter's Tale (released in the United Kingdom as A New York Winter's Tale) is an allegorical 2014 American supernatural fable based on the 1983 novel of the same name by Mark Helprin. The film is written and directed by Akiva Goldsman (in his directorial debut) and stars Colin Farrell, Jessica Brown Findlay, Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe, and Will Smith. The film was panned by critics and was a bomb at the box office.
In 1895, a young immigrant couple is refused entry into Manhattan because they have consumption. When their infant son is not allowed entry to the country without them, the couple decide to place him in a model sailboat named "City of Justice" to float there safely.
In 1916, the infant boy has grown up to be Peter Lake (Colin Farrell), a thief raised by a supernatural demon posing as the gangster Pearly Soames (Russell Crowe). Peter is marked for death when he decides to leave Pearly's gang. In a confrontation, he is rescued by a mysterious white horse, his guardian angel. Although Peter hopes to move to Florida and come back in the summer, the horse encourages him to steal from one last mansion. The mansion is the home where Beverly Penn lives, a young woman dying of consumption. While her publisher father Isaac and younger sister Willa are not home, Beverly discovers Peter preparing to commit robbery of the house. When he assures her that he no longer wishes to commit robbery, she offers to make him a cup of tea. They tell each other about their stories and fall in love.
Pearly orders his men to Beverly’s home, believing that saving her is Peter's "miracle" and spiritual destiny. Peter rescues Beverly and they escape to the Lake of the Coheeries, where Pearly, who is supernaturally limited to the five boroughs of New York, cannot follow. Peter meets Beverly’s family at their summer home and wins their respect. While on a walk, Beverly explains to Peter that everyone is born with a miracle inside which are destined to become stars when they die.
Pearly asks the devil, Lucifer (Will Smith), for access to the lake home, but his request is denied. Instead, Pearly, who refers to himself as a Knight among Lucifer's angels, calls in a debt owed to him by another of Lucifer’s angels. At a ball, a man poisons Beverly's drink. When she returns home, Peter sneaks up to her tent. The two have sex and she suddenly dies. After the funeral, as Peter and his mysterious white Horse are about to leave, Pearly and his men surround them on the Brooklyn Bridge. Peter orders his mysterious winged Horse to fly away, and Pearly gives Peter four vicious head-butts pushing him off the bridge. Peter miraculously survives, but wanders around the city with amnesia for a century, drawing chalk art of a red-headed girl on the pavements.
In 2014, Peter bumps into a girl named Abby and meets her mother, Virginia Gamely. He rediscovers the "City of Justice" plaque from the toy sailboat his parents placed him in. Peter then discovers the Theatre of the Coheeries, founded by Isaac who has dedicated it to Beverly. He goes to the library where Virginia works and she helps him get his memory back using historical photographs archived at the library. While there, he meets the grown up Willa, who is the boss of Virginia's newspaper. Abby has a seizure, revealing that she has cancer. Realizing that Abby, not Beverly, is his "miracle" and spiritual destiny, Peter convinces Virginia that he can save Abby.
When Pearly learns that Peter is still alive and with Virginia, he again sends his gang in pursuit. Pearly and his men arrive at their apartment, causing Peter and Virginia to flee to the rooftop with Abby. The mysterious winged horse flies them to the Lake of the Coheeries, but Pearly has become mortal to pursue Peter. After Horse dispatches Pearly's men, Peter and Pearly engage in a fistfight and Peter stabs Pearly with the "City of Justice" plaque. Pearly turns to ice and Peter is able to save Abby. After visiting Beverly's grave one last time, Peter mounts the horse to be carried away to the stars.
- Colin Farrell as Peter Lake
- Jessica Brown Findlay as Beverly Penn
- Jennifer Connelly as Virginia Gamely
- Russell Crowe as Pearly Soames
- William Hurt as Isaac Penn
- Mckayla Twiggs as Young Willa
- Eva Marie Saint as Adult Willa
- Will Smith as Judge / Lucifer
- Ripley Sobo as Abby
- Matt Bomer as Peter's father
- Lucy Griffiths as Peter's mother
- Finn Wittrock as Gabriel
- Listo as The Horse
- Kevin Corrigan as Romeo Tan
Initially Warner Bros. attempted to sign Martin Scorsese in 2002, but Scorsese turned down the chance to direct the movie calling it "unfilmable". Later on Winter's Tale became a "passion project" for director Akiva Goldsman, who was given the go-ahead for the film by Warner Bros. in February 2011 with a budget of $75 million. It was reported that the film's budget was dropped to $60 million in February 2012; at the same time Will Smith and Russell Crowe were linked to the project in supporting roles.
Various actors were considered for the central roles of Peter Lake and Beverley Penn. Benjamin Walker, Tom Hiddleston, Aaron Johnson, and Garrett Hedlund auditioned for the role of Peter Lake while Elizabeth Olsen, Bella Heathcote, Gabriella Wilde and Sarah Gadon tested for the role of Beverly. In March 2012 it was reported that Jessica Brown Findlay had been offered the role of Beverly; Colin Farrell was linked to the role of Peter Lake in the following month.
William Hurt joined the cast as Beverly's father, Isaac Penn, in August 2012. In September 2012 multiple new cast members were announced, including Matt Bomer, Lucy Griffiths and Eva Marie Saint. The final major addition to the cast was Jennifer Connelly, whose involvement was confirmed in October 2012 shortly prior to the start of filming.
Principal photography began in October 2012, but was quickly delayed due to Hurricane Sandy. Shooting took place at various locations across New York City including Grand Central Terminal, Red Hook, Brooklyn, East Village, Manhattan, and Central Park. Filming was also done at Lyndhurst in Tarrytown, New York. The cinematographer was Caleb Deschanel, who photographed the film with Arri Alexa digital cameras and Panavision C-, E- and G-Series anamorphic lenses.
On February 4, 2014, four tracks were revealed on Soundcloud, and were released on February 14. "Miracle", by Scottish singer KT Tunstall became the lead single of the soundtrack. The three other tracks were: "What's the Best Thing You've Ever Stolen?", "You Don't Quit Me, Boy", and "She Was Like a Bright Light" all composed by Hans Zimmer and Rupert Gregson-Williams.
Winter's Tale has received generally negative reviews. On film review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 13% rating, with an average score of 3.6/10, based on reviews from 134 critics. The consensus states: "Winter's Tale tries to retain the grandiose sweep of its source novel, but fails to fill it in with characters worth rooting for or a sensible plot." On another aggregation site, Metacritic, it holds a 31/100 score (citing "generally unfavorable reviews"), with reviews from 35 critics.
The film opened poorly at #7 with just $7.3 million in its first weekend. Winter's Tale grossed just $12.6 million in the United States, and $18.2 million abroad for a total of $30.8 million worldwide.
- "Film Distribution - Village Roadshow Limited". Village Roadshow Pictures. 2014-02-11. Retrieved 2014-02-11.
- "A NEW YORK WINTER'S TALE (12A)". Warner Bros. British Board of Film Classification. February 5, 2014. Retrieved February 5, 2014.
- "Winter's Tale". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
- "Winter's Tale". Boxoffice.com. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
- "Full cast and crew for Winter's Tale". Internet Movie Database. January 30, 2013. Retrieved January 30, 2013.
- "Akiva Goldsman Gets Green Light On ‘Winter’s Tale’ At Warner Bros". Deadline.com. February 1, 2011. Retrieved January 28, 2013.
- Kit, Borys (April 11, 2011). "Casting Couch: Who's Testing for Directors Roland Emmerich, Akiva Goldsman and 'Die Hard 5' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- "Russell Crowe and Will Smith Save Akiva Goldsman's Directing Debut, Winter’s Tale". Vulture.com. February 1, 2012. Retrieved January 29, 2013.
- "Colin Farrell Offered Lead In Akiva Goldsman's 'Winter's Tale' Opposite 'Downton Abbey' Star Jessica Brown-Findlay". IndieWire. April 26, 2012. Retrieved January 29, 2013.
- "Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Hiddleston Up For Akiva Goldsman's Winter's Tale". Cinema Blend. November 7, 2011. Retrieved January 29, 2013.
- Fleming, Mike (August 1, 2012). "William Hurt Joins Akiva Goldsman's ‘Winter’s Tale’". Deadline.com. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- Fleming, Mike (September 21, 2012). "Akiva Goldsman’s ‘Winter’s Tale’ Sets Matt Bomer, Lucy Griffiths, Eva Marie Saint". Deadline.com. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- Fleming, Mike (October 11, 2012). "Jennifer Connelly Joining Akiva Goldsman’s ‘Winter’s Tale’". Deadline.com. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- Verrier, Richard; Blake, Meredith (October 29, 2012). "Hurricane Sandy shuts down film and TV production on East Coast". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- "Crowe ‘Tale’ of B’klyn woe". New York Post. November 27, 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- "'Winter's Tale' filming around Cooper Square; Russell Crowe Alert". EV Grieve. December 2, 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- "Adam Levine soaks up the L.A. sun while Jennifer Connelly freezes in New York". EV Grieve. January 16, 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- "Hollywood Snow Falls on Lyndhurst". Rye Patch. January 29, 2013. Retrieved February 11, 2014.
- "Below-the-Line Impact Report 2012". Variety. July 30, 2012. Retrieved January 28, 2013.
- "Celebrate Valentine's Day with 'Winter's Tale'". Panavision. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
- "WaterTower Music to Release Hans Zimmer's and Rupert Gregson-Williams’ ‘Winter’s Tale’ Score". Film Music Reporter. December 17, 2013. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
- "Get Ready for Romance With Four Exclusive Tracks From the 'Winter's Tale' Soundtrack". Moviefone. February 4, 2014. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
- "Winter's Tale (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 4, 2014.
- "Winter's Tale". Metacritic. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
- Official website
- Winter's Tale at the Internet Movie Database
- Winter's Tale at Box Office Mojo
- Winter's Tale at Rotten Tomatoes
- Winter's Tale at Metacritic
- Russell Crowe horses around with Colin Farrell on set of Winter's Tale
- Getty Images from the set
- A Winter's Tale: Jennifer Connelly and Colin Farrell brave the cold as they film scenes for their new movie