Niagara Gazette — Peter comes across a name that triggers memories from 1916. In attempting to find information, he hooks up with a newspaper reporter (Jennifer Connelly), with whom he had a brief encounter. Her little, red-haired, very sick daughter bumped into him in Central Park. “Winter’s Tale” is built on a foundation of such absurd coincidences.
The final third of the film involves the reporter, her dying child, Soames’s obsessive vendetta, and the frozen lake. It doesn’t help that the dull Connelly, the anchor for this section, delivers her lines with her patented wide-eyed, soporific vapidity. She even has trouble being amazed upon realizing that Peter’s actually a very old man.
“Winter’s Tale” is supposed to be about a spiritual romance. You should eagerly follow the characters. Unfortunately, Goldsman hasn’t given them engaging personalities. The horse has more pizzazz. Immense chunks of dialogue burden the pacing. When a wise woman, in the film for only a few minutes, steals the limelight, you know the overall effort is misguided.
Of course, it helps that the woman is played by the legendary, 89-year old Eva Marie Saint. She wakes up the audience and shows the youngsters in the movie what believable acting is all about.Michael Calleri reviews films for Night and Day. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.