BY DENNIS KING
NEW YORK – “Winter’s Tale,” like most lush, dreamy romances these days, features one soft-focus love scene between buff, photogenic stars Colin Farrell and Jessica Brown Findlay.
In this mystical, century-spanning love story, Farrell plays a roguish cat burglar, and Brown Findlay is a fragile, consumptive young heiress who never expected to find true love.
The gauzy love scene is artfully done – steamy and lavishly suggestive but not too graphic.
When it became the subject of a slightly tittering question during a recent press conference for the film, writer-director Akiva Goldsman and his cast weighed in with some surprising viewpoints.
“I believe the love scene between this talented lady (Jessica Brown Findlay) and Colin is just one of the most beautifully done, and most tastefully done I’ve ever seen,” said Eva Marie Saint, who plays a sage newspaper publisher in this film and whose old Hollywood creds include “North By Northwest” and “On the Waterfront.” “It left something to the imagination. And I find in love scenes today they try to show everything, even though you know it’s not the real thing anyway. But it was so beautifully done, it brings tears to my eyes.”
Here, Goldsman jumped in to offer his view of the true skinny.
“Let me disabuse you all of something,” he said. “Love scenes are among the most horrible things you can ask an actor to do. Just take a moment … now take off your clothes. No but here, no really. Love scenes are the hardest thing in the world. And if you enjoy them that’s wonderful because nobody making them sits there and says, ‘Let’s do that again tomorrow.’”
Farrell, sitting next to Goldsman, flashed a wry grin, and said, “I don’t know that I agree. (Laughs all around.) It might sound awfully sleazy and cheap of me, and it’s not that I get personal kicks or gratification from them. But I do think that human touch in whatever form it comes in, as long as that form is one that’s mutually compassionate and respectful, is a really gorgeous thing. So while it is an atmosphere of absolute artifice, and it’s not romantic and it’s never going to be sexy, if the two people who are involved in it are on the same page and are mutually taking care of each other, there are worse days at the office.”