'A Winter's Tale': Assessing Colin Farrell's Up and Down Career

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Colin Farrell is back with 'A Winter's Tale', which is hoping to draw in audiences over Valentine's weekend. As the Irish actor tries to regain his leading man status we look back over his career of ups and down and tabloid headlines.

Colin Farrell, star of 'Winter's Tale'Colin Farrell, star of 'Winter's Tale'

Irish actor Colin Farrell’s career started off in the rather unglamorous BBC TV show ‘Ballykissangel’, from 1998 to 1999 Farrell had a small role as Danny Byrne in the English produced drama which was set in Ireland. Farrell’s good looks and roguish image, however would mean that film offers weren't too long in coming. His first big screen role was in Tim Roth’s ‘The War Zone’, which he followed with a supporting role in ‘Ordinary Decent Criminal’ alongside Kevin Spacey. However critics first took notice of the actor in 2000’s’ ‘Tigerland’ directed by Joel Schumacher. Though the film was not a commercial success he gained positive reviews for his performance.

Farrell’s break into the mainstream consciousness happened in 2002 with supporting roles in ‘Minority Report’ and ‘Daredevil’ but it was a run of three films in 2003 that would propel him to Hollywood leading man status. First the thriller ‘Phone Booth’ which saw him carrying  the film playing a man held hostage in a phone booth by an unseen sniper. ‘The Recruit’ teamed him with veteran actor Al Pacino. Though the film gained mixed reviews, it did well enough at the box office not to stall Farrell’s momentum. Starring alongside Samuel L. Jackson, Michelle Rodriguez and LL Cool J action thriller 'S.W.A.T' also didn’t charm critics but took an impressive $207.1 million at the box office. Whilst Farrell’s career was on a high he also started earning a reputation as a Hollywood bad boy, something he seemed to enjoy playing up to in the press. He also at this time made the independant Irish film, 'Intermission' which became the highest grossing Irish indie film of all time.

Colin FarrellColin Farrell was 2003's breakout star

Farrell followed up his 2003 success the next year with a role in Oliver Stone’s ‘Alexander’ alongside Angelina Jolie and Val Kilmer. The big budget, three hour epic was a box office and critical failure and even gained Farrell a ‘Worst Actor’ nomination at the Razzie awards. His next historical endeavour ‘The New World’ was received more positively but failed to draw at the box office. The screen adaptation of 80’s TV series 'Miami Vice' fared better at the box office but critics were once again divided. However the performance of Farrell's that was recieving the most press attention in 2006 was his sex tape which he made in 2003 and was leaked online three years later.

After varying results with his recent Hollywood endeavours, Farrell took on the lead in British black comedy ‘In Bruges’, playing an Irish hit man in hiding alongside Brendan Gleeson. The film would lead to his first major award win as he was named Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy at the 2009 Golden Globe Awards. He followed up the success with the lesser known ‘Triage’ where he played a war correspondent. He returned to the mainstream with a role in 2011’s ‘Horrible Bosses’ playing one of the bosses alongside Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Spacey. The film would become one of the highest grossing comedies of all time, taking over $209 million at the box office. His follow up comedy 'Seven Psychopaths' would be less sucessful. Farrell then took on two remakes, ‘Fright Night’ and ‘Total Recall’ both of which failed to perform at the box office.

Farrell in 'A Winter's Tale'

This year sees Farrell with three films scheduled. First for release is ‘A Winter's Tale’ which is so far receiving negative reviews. The other two films Miss Julie and Solace should be released later in the year. It seems unlike that ‘A Winter’s Tale’ can reinvigorate Farrell’s career, which although not on a downturn, he is far removed from the fame he enjoyed a decade ago. Still the actor is more likely to make headlines from his interview revelations than his movie roles, which is a shame considering he has all the talent and charisma to make him still a bankable Hollywood star.

Watch the traielr for 'Winter's Tale':


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