Akiva Goldsman’s Winter’s Tale is, by nearly all accounts, garbage. I mean absolute headache-inducing crap. Our own Amanda Mae Meyncke lambasted it in a review that was basically a dagger dipped in venomous bitchery and driven into its very heart. To wit:
It’s exhausting to think about! Millions upon millions of dollars spent, all to say nothing. No great romance, nothing memorable (beyond Russell Crowe’s bloody finger paintings and the sight of six BMWs simultaneously sinking into a lake), only nothingness and chaos. Even worse, this is nothingness parading as something worth existing, a film that believes it presents a structured worldview, and then shies away from it, over and over again. “The Universe” is in control, but there’s demons, and fallen angels, and horses that are angels, it’s just dumbfounding.
Nearly every reliable source out there has not only trashed it, but trashed it vigorously. It is currently sitting at a measly 13% on Rotten Tomatoes. The How Did This Get Made podcast absolutely gutted it, but what made it even more enjoyable is their complete inability to even describe the plot in a fashion that made anything resembling sense. Rolling Stone called it “preposterous twaddle.” Slashfilm gave it one of the kindest 3/10 scores I’ve ever read, stating simply that “what Winter’s Tale lacks is sense.” Film School Rejects bluntly anhd succinctly claims that “This is a weird ass movie that can in no way be considered good or even competent on any level but the technical.”
I have not seen it, nor will I ever (a decision made well before I read any reviews and based possibly entirely on Colin Farrell’s hair), but the highlight of the past seven days has been just seeing people as they try to review it. It is based on a novel that Martin Scorcese called “unfilmable” and was apparently adapted into a film that is practically unreviewable. It’s been amazing to observe.
Enter Glenn Beck.
Yes, that Glenn Beck. The one who once called Barack Obama a racist, who called Sandra Fluke a slut right alongside the repugnant Rush Limbaugh, that overwrought, right-wing blowhard who fancies himself as the savior of American values when he’s really an opportunistic manipulator who preys on minorities, women, gays, and anyone who isn’t a white Republican male. Yeah, that one.
You see, I have a friend who works for progressive advocacy group People For The American Way and who we should all feel terribly sorry for. He spends four hours a day watching Glenn Beck’s show, mining it for content and material. Four. Hours. Pity my poor friend Kyle, you guys. Anyway, he notified me this week that Beck LOVED Winter’s Tale. Loved it so much that he took his entire staff to see it, because working for Glenn Beck isn’t bad enough, now he’s forcing you to sit through two hours of bullshit movies that everyone hates. Beck admitted that the last 30 minutes “goes off the rails” but described it as “fascinating” and called Russell Crowe “fantastic.” He also praised it for its faith-based positive message, calling it “a great movie of hope and empowerment.”
To make this whole story even stranger, Akiva Goldsman actually went on Beck’s program to talk about the film, particularly about the backlash it’s been receiving. In the interest of fairness, he also talks about his wife’s death at length, and that is indeed tragic and terrible. But as for Winter’s Tale, Goldsman described it as “an open-hearted attempt to find meaning” and “a hail mary towards faith,” which leads me to think that Goldsman is only capable of speaking in the same incomprehensibly treacly gobbledygook that the film’s characters use.
Beck, of course, ate that shit up. It’s amazing how any hint of religion or positive spin on “faith”, regardless of how horrendous the product is, will practically induce priapism in nutbars like him. But there you have it, kids. The number one reason you should stay away from Winter’s Tale is because because as a solid general rule, anything that Glenn Beck enjoys? You should probably run fast and far.
And seriously. Let’s pour one out for Kyle.
(and no, I’m not linking to Beck’s website. You want to see it, you can Google that shit yourself)
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