Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

February 11, 2014

CALLERI: 'Winter's Tale' is a romance that may not warm your heart

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — The deep-voiced Judge lives in the hollows of Grand Central Station. The train terminus holds one of the story’s secrets. We first only hear Judge pontificating, but when he flicks on a light, we see Smith’s face. The screening audience burst into laughter. It’s a dumb build-up. Soames asks Judge to help him find Peter, whose mistake seems to be wishing he were something other than a thief.

Meanwhile, a beautiful, red-haired young woman named Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown Findlay) is dying from consumption, that classic disease found in archaic fiction. Peter has fled Soames’s gang on a white horse he calls Horse. It turns out to be a special horse. This is where the magical realism comes in. The darn thing sprouts wings and takes flight.

Although we don’t hear the horse talk, it does tell Peter to burgle one more upper-crust mansion. The sick girl lives there. A pianist, she’s fully aware that her last etude could actually be her last etude. Peter falls in love with her. Their passion is only spiritual. We are early in what feels like an endless movie, so you must know that Beverly will succumb. Her fading life-force enters Peter’s heart. He will live forever and always be young and good-looking.

Through all of this we have visited Beverly’s country home, which is a veritable castle by a frozen lake, seen Soames’s face turn into a devil mask, and watched Beverly’s father (William Hurt) try to fix a huge broken furnace that belches flames like the fires of Hell.

Onward to Manhattan, 2014. Peter is alive and wandering, and deeply morose. Soames plies his nasty trade. However, instead of giving pennies on the dollar for stolen goods, he now seems to be a financial predator. Discovering that Lake is still alive, Soames returns to the hunt for his soul.

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