'Winter's Tale' movie explores love, miracles in adult fairy tale

Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:16pm EST
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fairy tales are not only for children and "Winter's Tale," the film adaptation of a best-selling book, aims to lure even jaded, middle-aged adults into believing in the magic of eternal love and the power of miracles.

The film, which opens in U.S. theaters on Valentine's Day, is based on Mark Helprin's 1983 fantasy novel of the same name, and stars Golden Globe winner Colin Farrell ("In Bruges") as a burglar who falls in love with an heiress played by English actress Jessica Brown Findlay, of TV's Downton Abbey.

Set in the early 1900s in a mythical New York with cobble-stone streets, stately mansions and thieving street gangs and also in the present, "Winter's Tale" is a romance that transcends time with magical elements such as a flying white horse and a hero who exists for 100 years without aging.

"This is a fairy tale for grownups," said first-time director Akiva Goldsman, who won an Oscar in 2002 for best screenplay for "A Beautiful Mind."

"It is a wink and a nod to people who have had loss and need to believe in magic," he added.

Goldsman, 51, fell in love with the critically acclaimed novel, but he admits magical realism is a genre that will not appeal to everyone.

"It is the co-existence of serious dramatic scenes and a flying white horse," he said, "That is either delightful to you or aversive. To me it has always been something of an art form."

But critics failed to find the magic in the film released by Time Warner Inc's Warner Bros. unit.   Continued...

Actress Bella Thorne arrives for the premiere of the movie "Winter's Tale" in New York February 11, 2014. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri