Winter's Tale (2014) is the debut film for director Akiva Goldsman and is based on Helrpin's novel of the same title (1983). This is a story about true love, magic and, quite unexpectedly, angels and demons. It's centred about the balance between good and evil but in an entirely unique way.
Winter's Tale - This is not a true story - This is true love
The story is driven by Peter (Colin Farrell) and his feud with his jilted ex boss Pearly (Russell Crowe) aka the Black Knight. After a life on the run, Peter stumbles across the house of a red headed beauty (played by Jessica Brown Findlay) and his life is irrevocably changed. His heart no longer belongs to him, but is immortalised by Beverly whose love gives him the miracle of reincarnation. I shall say no more.
This film takes you on a trip through the past, into a world much like ours but with a very realistic presence of the supernatural. It expresses sentiments from hope to innocent bliss, tragedy, mild confusion, realisation, and then peace. The pieces fell together so completely whilst still leaving enough to the imagination to please those who believe that true understanding lays in the interpretation.
Winter's Tale - Peter and Beverly enjoying the D-floor
I spent the first half of the film wishing I got to live back in the 1920s; to wear gowns, suits and dance the box dance, to drink champagne from a gold inlaid coupe de champagne, to ride a horse and feel the heat of a furnace. All of these things.
One of my favourite features about this film was the subtlety in which the angelic and the demonic were portrayed. The angelic are brought to life with the reflection of light, such a simple technique, and one that is used near constantly, but it's done so in an effortless manner that just made me smile.
Likewise, the demonic nature of characters was brought to the forefront with alternate shadows, the shifting of facial features, power by numbers and a slightly off style of walking. These features made the supernatural seem all the more real and it gave potential to the shadows you think you see moving out the corner of your eye. Eerie.
Winter's Tale - beef between these two
Go and see it, or wait for it to come out on DVD. It's worth it even to just see who plays the devil. Just don't watch the trailer. It ruins all of the surprises and ah-hah moments that the film has to offer. Big kudos to every actor in the film and to the director and screen writer.