Celebrated screenwriter Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind and I Am Legend) turns to novelist Mark Helprin for his first effort at the helm. Winter’s Tale is pure fantasy; the story of Peter Lake (Colin Farrell), a small-time burglar who breaks into the home of a sickly young heiress named Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown Findlay) and loses his own heart, only to discover that he’s been blessed (or cursed) with the ability to live on through reincarnation.
While seeking to save his new love, the burglar must battle a relentless foe (Russell Crowe) throughout the ages. Although I haven’t read Helprin’s book, I found myself drawing parallels with Pete Hamill’s novel Forever, which traces the live of an Irish immigrant who arrives in New York in 1740 and not just remains but lives on, through the evolution of the city. Goldsman is obviously aiming for New York to be the kind of place where such magic (and never-ending love) can reign supreme. If only he had allowed the city to truly shine as a leading character should. (PG-13) Grade: C+