Film Review: A New York Winter’s Tale

A New York Winter's Tale

A New York Winter’s Tale is a bemusing fantasy drama. There are flashes of what writer-director Akiva Goldsman appears to be aiming for, but overall the film is a stupefying mess.

Former mechanic and current thief Peter Lake is on the run from his former boss. Breaking into a house, Peter stumbles across Beverley, a beautiful but sick young woman. This meeting changes the course of his life…

An adaptation of Mark Helprin’s novel, A New York Winter’s Tale features an interesting enough premise. The execution, however, leaves a lot to be desired. The intention of Goldsman is clear; he has aimed to create a romantic drama infused with fantasy and strong religious overtones. Nevertheless, the plotting is muddled and the characters are weak.

Rather than offering a measured introduction to the protagonists, action (and fantasy action at that) occurs early in proceedings. This serves to bemuse viewers more than anything else. Characters are developed slightly later in the film as relationships form. There is little to them behind the initial bluster. Peter and Beverly supposed to fall in love from their initial meeting. However this scene belies any intensity in feelings.

The problems that arise in A New York Winter’s Tale are both large and small. Pearly Soames is too caricature a villain to be taken seriously. His desire to track Peter requires a motivation which is absent in the film at least. Later in the film the audience is implored to root for a recently introduced characters without being given any real indication why they should care. On the lower end of the scale, it is inexplicable that the editor of a major newspaper would be over a hundred years old. There is no explanation for this.

Cinematography in the film is lush. Hans Zimmer’s score offers a quality that is severely lacking from the narrative and direction. Russell Crowe’s poor accent is distracting. Colin Farrell is adequate, but he and others have to contend with a poor script that elevates tired sentimentality above everything else.

A New York Winter’s Tale is amusing for the fact that it gets so much wrong. It is hard to believe that producers and actors would read the screenplay and think that it was a good idea.

Stuff To Look At

Plenty of pre-Christmas visual treats this week, including the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer, 22 Jump Street, How To Train Your Dragon 2 and more…

A New York Winter’s Tale

A New York Winter’s Tale is a upcoming fantasy starring Colin Farrell and Jessica Brown Findlay. The film is the directorial debut of screenwriter Akiva Goldsman, who also wrote the screenplay based on Mark Helprin’s novel. A New York Winter’s Tale is out in UK cinemas on 21st February 2014.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Here is the first Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer. After the success of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, it makes sense that a sequel would follow. It is unclear whether this new film will bridge the gap between Rise and the original Planet of the Apes films, but one thing is clear: Cesar looks angry. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is due for release in July 2014.

22 Jump Street

Warning: this is the red band trailer. The film reboot of 21 Jump Street was something of a surprise success in that it actually worked well as a comedy. In sequel 22 Jump Street undercover cops Jenko and Schmidt go to college. The film is out in UK cinemas on 6th June 2014.

How To Train Your Dragon 2

How To Train Your Dragon was a great animated adventure, so I have high hopes for its sequel. This trailer for How To Train Your Dragon 2 does not reveal much in terms of plot, but it looks fantastic. How To Train Your Dragon 2 is set for release in June 2014.

Blended

What is Blended you ask? Well it is a new comedy that once again teams up Adam Sandler with Drew Barrymore. The thing that is giving me some hope is that it is directed by Frank Coraci, helmer of guilty pleasure The Wedding Singer. Blended is out in the UK on 23rd May 2014.

Grudge Match

Above is a featurette for upcoming movie Grudge Match. The film pits Robert De Niro against Sylvester Stallone when they are offered a chance to re-enter the boxing ring. So basically Raging Bull versus Rocky. Grudge Match is out in UK cinemas on 24th January 2014.

Mr Peabody and Sherman

I want Mr Peabody to adopt me! Frankly what is not to love about this film? A talking dog, who is also the smartest person in the world. Fantastic. Let’s hope Sherman isn’t too annoying. Mr Peabody and Sherman is released in the UK on 7th February 2014.