God, I Hope They Don’t Screw It Up

God, I Hope They Don’t Screw It Up

I’m taking a momentary break from writing about myself all the time to mention a movie that I’m both looking forward to and am deeply afraid about how it’s going to turn out.

It’s the film version of my favorite novel ever, Mark Helprin’s Winter’s Tale.  It”s being directed by Akiva Goldsman, who’s also writing the screenplay.  He adapted the script for “A Beautiful Mind” which won a bunch of Oscars, but on the other hand, he also wrote the script for “Batman and Robin” (which I won’t even link to, because – well, if you’ve been unlucky enough to see it, you understand). 

Just from the casting, which you can see at the movie’s IMDB page, it doesn’t look like they’re really adapting the book as much as telling one part of the story (Peter Lake’s short-lived love for Beverly Penn), while throwing out more or less the whole philosophical core of the novel.  They’ve got Will Smith, who doesn’t have a character listed, and he’d almost have to be playing a newly invented character because there’s nobody in the novel who he’s at all suited to play.  They’ve got Eva Marie Saint playing the elderly version of a character (Willa Penn) who only appears as a child, in the pre World War I portion of the story (the book takes place in two eras, the beginning of the 20th century, and the very end of it), but in the adaptation clearly shows up in the modern section of the story.  The cast is very heavy on characters from the earlier era, and extremely light on the modern-day section, even though 3/4 of the book takes place in the modern era.

I hope I’m wrong, and there’s a lot more to the movie than the casting suggests.  Supposedly it’s been a labor of love for Goldsman, and he’s been trying to make this movie for a decade, so I’m crossing my fingers.

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