Everyone enjoys a good love story but as novel preference, I don’t seek out stories where romance is the most engaging element. However, there are some loves, that are transcendent, some stories that resonate no matter how many times they are told. And any story, that takes two lovers and Fate’s intervention, then fuses it with a touch of miracle magic, deserves a hopeful glance.
The Novel: Written by Mark Helprin , the novel(1983) is set in a mythical depiction of an industrial driven Edwardian New York City, stretching over a century. It portrays Peter Lake, an orphan and master-mechanic, who is thrust into a battle between good and evil, to win a chance to prove miracles can happen.
Akiva Goldsman adapted the story to screenplay and is making his directorial debut, reuniting him with his A Beautiful Mind actors Connelly and Crowe.
Synopsis: A burglar falls for an heiress as she dies in his arms. When he learns that he has the gift of reincarnation, he sets out to save her.
Cast: Colin Farrell, Russell Crowe, Jessica Brown Findlay, Will Smith, Jennifer Connelly, Ripley Sobo and Mckayla Twiggs
Farrell as a romantic hero really isn’t something I fancy. And though, I consider him to be a method and rather manic actor, I’ve yet to see him in a role that left me feeling detached or unconvinced. Findlay is absolutely beautiful, as always and pulled strong performance in her stint as the independently modern youngest daughter of Lord Grantham, in the vastly popular British soap opera Downton Abbey. Together she and Farrell make a gorgeous couple and Crowe is solid as the bitter and conflicted archenemy.
Premiere: February 14
Thoughts: The tagline for this film is “Believe in miracles” and while “love” alone can be viewed as such, the ability to overcome obstacles and sustain or resurrect that love is a sentiment I’d like to see play out. This concept intrigues me, for certain facets of this story remind me of The Last Leaf and The Time Traveler’s Wife , which is always a plus for me. The story alone sounds heartfelt and passionate, perhaps even star-crossed, but thanks to the fantasy aspect, the outcome doesn’t have to remain tragic. I haven’t read the novel and usually, this is a drawback for me, which would drop this film in a long queue of “watch after reading” but from what I’ve learned so far, it’s better to watch, then read, for the novel is said to be spellbounding and bordering on perfection. Therefore, rendering any adaptation impossible to compare.
But for those that have read, I have to believe with Goldsman at the helm in every capacity, the greatest care has been taken to bring to life the basic magical elements of Helprin’s tale.
[stills courtesy of Winter’s Tale– Facebook]