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|Laufzeit:||Ca. 118 min.|
|FSK:||From 6 years|
New York in 1916: the little criminal Peter Lake (Colin Farrell) is on the run from his former boss, the gangster Pearly Soames (Russell Crowe). Accompanied by a white horse that has emerged from nowhere as his unexpected protector, Peter wants to leave the city for some time. On a last stolen procession through a seemingly abandoned house Peter meets the young Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown Findlay), with whom he immediately falls in love. Even when he learns that Beverly is seriously ill and will soon die, he wants to stay at her side as long as possible. It is the beginning of a great love, which must exist against the forces of evil, against death and against time - and which almost a hundred years later experiences a surprising turn…
"Winter`s Tale" is not based on the Shakespeare play "The Winter`s Tale", but on the novel "Wintermärchen" by the American Mark Helprin published in 1983. The Oscar-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman ("A beautiful mind") has conjured up an enchanting cinema fairy tale from this original, which mixes some fantasy with a lot of romance and a bit too much kitsch to a heart-warming whole. The eternal battle between good and evil, fought here by demonic beings and heavenly protectors, is fought here in two time levels. First, Pearly Soames tried to prevent the love between Peter and Beverly in 1916. And in 2014, he will do everything in his power to ensure that Peter cannot fulfill his true purpose. It's a story in which flirty hell creatures meet flying horses and in which the immortality of great love can triumph over all evil.
This may not sound particularly promising at first glance. And in fact, some moments of the movie also shoot out to the unpleasant end of the icing scale. Especially towards the end it's just too much of a good thing when it comes to romance and kitsch. Nevertheless, the fantastic love story works very well overall - provided, of course, that you accept that "Winter's Tale" is a classic fairy tale with some modern components... Goldsman doesn't make any compromises here either. He renounces excessive realism and pleasurably celebrates the fairytale-like character of the original, especially from a visual point of view. This doesn't always work out convincingly, as the movie simply lacks the necessary budget to get the necessary size. But apart from a few small weaknesses, it's just fun to let yourself be enchanted by this story.
The fact that the romantic sparks between the sovereign Colin Farrell and the really enchanting Jessica Brown Findlay ("Downton Abbey") actually sparkle is of course very helpful. Her tenderness is opposed by Russel Crowe, who plays the role of the demonic villain with great enthusiasm. He exaggerates a little here and there. Nevertheless, it is a lot of fun to watch him go about his diabolical business. This is also true for the other actors, although Oscar-winning Jennifer Connelly is the only one who is rather pale and clearly behind her possibilities. Even though William Hurt and Will Smith don't present any best performances during their short appearances either, in the end they deliver exactly what their roles demand of them.
In the second half of the film the feeling arises that it would have been good for "Winter`s Tale" if the story had had more time and more size (i.e. money) available to it to unfold completely. Because what is supposed to move the viewer correctly in the 2014 storyline seems too hasty and superficial to achieve this effect. The movie here is still a long way from being really bad. But you simply have the feeling that a lot of the potential of the book has been lost here.
"Winter`s Tale" is not a perfect film. In some scenes it's even a bit disappointing. But if you like imaginative fairy tales, great love stories and a lot of kitsch, you'll be sure to get your heart pumping even in the weaker moments. Akiva Goldsman's cinema directorial debut is a beautiful film to lean back and dream about - no more, no less. And for that there is also, with minimal point deductions, an absolutely deserved one: Worth seeing!
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