Winter's Tale

This live-action fairy tale aims to recapture the romantic splendor MGM’s golden era; the dialogue and metaphysical conceits are often risible, but even they convey an emotionalism rare in 21st-century Hollywood. A good-natured thief (Colin Farrell) in 1916 New York falls in love with a consumptive heiress (Jessica Brown Findlay of Downton Abbey) while attempting to rob her father’s mansion; their romance upsets the thief’s employer (Russell Crowe, doing his best Victor McLaglen impression), a centuries-old demon posing as an Irish crime boss. There are plenty more wacky developments where that came from, such as flying horses and the premise that true love can lead to immortality; the filmmakers present these with surprising conviction, and they seem almost natural given the movie’s lush, graceful tone. Veteran producer Akiva Goldsman directed a script he adapted from Mark Helprin’s novel; with William Hurt and Eva Marie Saint.