Based on the 1983 novel by Mark Helprin, A New York Winter’s Tale is set in 1916 and is a supernatural tale that has finally made it to the big screen. It is one of the most keenly anticipated of Warner Brothers recent outputs and is one of the upcoming movies that you might want to book your seat for at a big screen complex, such as Cineworld, where you can do this. Interest in the adaptation has been developing among fans of the book ever since director Akiva Goldsman was given the go-ahead for a film version in 2011. Goldsman, who won an Oscar for the Best Adapted Screenplay in 2001, has needed all of his skills to bring the project to fruition, after reported budget cuts imposed by the studio. UK wide chains, like Cineworld, are expecting the movie to work well with British audiences because Jessica Brown Findlay, best known as Lady Sybil Crawley in ITV’s Downton Abbey, makes her Hollywood film debut in what is a star studded cast.
A New York Winter’s Tale tells the story of Peter Lake, a thief played by Colin Farrell. The plot develops around his relationship with Beverly Penn, played by Brown Findlay, a dying girl who inhabits a house that he chooses to break into. Lake goes on to get into confrontations with local gangsters, headed by Irishman Pearly Soames, played by Hollywood legend Russell Crowe. However, the thief is rescued from his fate by a mysterious white horse named Athansor who goes on to become his guardian angel.
Goldsman’s vision really brings the supernatural elements of the movie to the fore without it ever seeming like a kid’s picture. You have to admire his dedication to the cause, given the reported comings and goings of the cast members. The final cast was not settled until October 2012, when Jennifer Connelly assumed the role of Virginia Gamely. Other big names that have roles in the film include John Hurt, Will Smith and Eva Marie Saint. Principal location shooting began in the New York area shortly after the cast had been announced, but it had to be abandoned soon afterwards due to the intervention of Hurricane Sandy. Nevertheless, the project failed to falter and the resulting reception from those who have been able to attend pre-screenings has been overwhelmingly positive.
The screenwriter turned director has said that he sees the mythic New York depicted in his movie as a grown-up fairy tale setting where nothing is without purpose. He claims that he has been obsessed with the novel for the thirty years, since he read it whilst riding the New York subway. According to the Los Angeles Times, he refocused himself on adapting the book for a big screen version following the untimely death of his wife.