The Bliss Blog

“What if, once upon a time, there were no stars in the sky at all? What if the stars are not what we think? What if the light from afar doesn’t come from the rays of distant suns, but from our wings as we turn into angels? Destiny calls to each of us. And there is a world behind the world where we are all connected, all part of a great and moving plan. Magic is everywhere around us. You just have to look. Look. Look closely. For even time and distance are not what they appear to be.”

Earlier in the year, while sitting in a darkened movie theater, I watched with fascination and goose bumps, a preview for a movie due out. It had all of my favorite elements, including a sweet love story, mysticism, magic and the idea that love itself is force that can never be defeated and never dies. I vowed to myself that I would see it.

Yesterday, while at my son’s place, sitting on the living room floor, enjoying potluck Christmas dinner with friends as well, I immersed in the world of Winter’s Tale.  The story line involves a young man named Peter Lake whose life is set adrift when his parents are sent back to their homeland from Ellis Island because they were contagiously ill. Literally, like Moses, placed in a tiny replica ship, and washed ashore in NY, he becomes a consummate thief adopted by a demon who is determined to destroy him when he leaves the fold.  Peter breaks into a house filled with all kinds of riches;  some of the obvious kind, but with even more precious wealth than he could have imagined. A young woman- Beverly Penn is carrying end stage TB, referred to as ‘consumption’, but still has a lot of vitality in her as she confronts the would- be robber, who ends up absconding with her heart.

He is joined in his desire to save this 21 year old woman’s life with the power of undying love, by her young sister Willa and an animal companion that shows up early on in the film to ‘spirit’ him away from the encroaching demonic throng. Much of what transpires is foretold in legend that had this unrepentant mystic/romantic KNOWING it was true. The film crosses time and place,  in a 100 year stretch, with Colin Farrell’s Peter Lake and Russell Crowe’s Pearly Somes the primary combatants who have not aged in that period. As he discovers, things are not always as they appear and that destiny winds inexorably to a stunning conclusion.

The film also stars Jessica Brown Findlay (of Downton Abbey fame), Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt, Eva Marie Saint, Will Smith and  Russell Crowe, with a cameo by Graham Greene who speaks of the connection between miracles, good, evil and spirit guides sent from the Beyond.

Although it was panned by most critics, I found it inspiring in its juxtaposition of darkness and light, with many of the scenes resplendent with beams emanating throughout. A sense of hope that even in the midst of seeming relentless cold and despair, anticipation of loss and heartbreak, illumination can break through.