Imagine seeing Will Smith as the devil. Think about it. Nice guy in real life. Super hero in movies. And suddenly, he’s Lucifer. It took us by surprise too when watching Winter’s Tale. Smith popped up with a fresh haircut, pierced ears in the 1800s, like a timeless devil still aware of new millennium fashion. But that’s all a distraction from what the movie is truly about.
Adapted from the 700-plus page novel written by Mark Helprin, Winter’s Tale is the fantasy story of Peter Lake (Colin Farrell), an orphaned child tirelessly searching for himself, the right path, and the best circumstances. Starting in a life of crime led by the vulgar, evily played demon masquerading as a man named Pearly (Russell Crowe), who happens to report to Lucifer (Smith), Lake is protected by a slew of unlikely angels. From a white stallion with airy wings to a meager stable man who flips a coin with love. “It’s hard to let go of things you love, especially if they spark your imagination as strongly as this did,” says director Akiva Goldman, of Helprin’s novel. “It’s a straightforward emotional narrative, yet within that naturalistic world where magic happens and people live for centuries.”
Also starring Jessica Brown Findlay, William Hurt, Eva Marie Saint, and new comers Ripley Sobo and Mckayla Twiggs, Winter’s Tale is full of time traveling mystery and the kind of romance that opens up and changes a man for eternity. It teaches that one’s destiny can not only save your soul, but also the ones of others who you may not fully know. Highlighting the power of choices, doing the right thing, and living life like there may be no tomorrow, Winter’s Tale is as deeply unique as the hefty novel from where its pages fall.
Winter’s Tale hits theaters February 14.