(out of 5)
An incomprehensible mess that gives you a glimpse of what it looks like when good actors die for our sins. Colin Farrell is raised an orphan after his parents are rejected in turn-of-the-century Ellis Island for contagious pulmonary illness, then years later is a ruffian on the streets of New York City. The impression, never clearly pointed out by Akiva Goldsman’s impossibly terrible direction, is that he was once under the wing of evil Russell Crowe, who is actually a demon from hell grooming Farrell for equal badness, but our hero has now decided to step out on his own. Farrell meets and falls in love with beautiful Jessica Brown Findlay, herself perpetually ill with tuberculosis (she spends all her time walking barefoot in the snow to keep her fever down, which I’m pretty sure is not the way to deal with that illness), and then later finds himself in modern-day Manhattan (watch the movie if you want to find out why, I simply cannot go through it right now) befriending Jennifer Connelly and her terminally ill daughter. All the while Crowe is hounding him because people are all allowed to give one miracle to another human being and he is pissed about what he thinks Farrell is going to do with his. Also, Will Smith is in it as the devil, reading Stephen Hawking in 1916. WHAT? Sappy dialogue and a plot that defies all logic under even the most forgiving of circumstances (accepting that it is a romantic fantasy without rules still gets you nowhere) make for the kind of garbage you should only watch if you need a good laugh, and then it has the audacity to waste the time of the great Eva Marie Saint.
Directed by Akiva Goldsman
Screenplay by Akiva Goldsman, based on the novel by Mark Helprin
Cinematography by Caleb Deschanel
Production Design by Naomi Shohan
Costume Design by Michael Kaplan