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Winter Solstice (2004)

Cast: Anthony LaPaglia, Anthony LaPaglia, Aaron Stanford, more...
Director: Josh Sternfeld, Josh Sternfeld
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Paramount
Genre: Drama
Running Time: 90 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English
    see additional details...

A family struggles to come to terms with changes after a death in the family in this independent drama. Jim Winters (Anthony LaPaglia) is a widower living in suburban New Jersey with his two teenage sons, Gabe (Aaron Stanford) and Pete (Mark Webber). Pete, the younger of the siblings, has a hearing problem that has made school difficult for him; consequently, he has lost interest in his education and spends most of his time goofing off. Gabe is smarter and more ambitious, and has a stable relationship with his girlfriend, Stacey (Michelle Monaghan), but is beginning to chafe at the limitations of small-town life. And five years after his wife's death, Jim still hasn't been able to pick up and start his life over again. When Gabe announces he's decided to move to Florida, it has differing effects on those around him -- Stacey, hurt and confused, begins to withdraw; Pete strikes up a friendship with one of his teachers (Ron Livingston); and Jim struggles to work up the nerve to talk to his new neighbor, Molly Ripkin (Allison Janney. Winter Solstice was the first feature film from writer and director Josh Sternfeld; it won enthusiastic notices following its screenings at the 2004 Tribeca Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Fine Acting, and a Nice Slice-of-Life by talltale September 18, 2005 - 7:24 AM PDT
2 out of 3 members found this review helpful
"Slice-of-life" is a drama term one doesn't hear used much anymore. It surfaced, I think, in the 50s and came to fruition in the 60s. Sometimes mistaken for (and can actually work alongside) "kitchen-sink" drama, it probably has roots in playwriting, as it depends heavily on a strong grasp of character & dialog and is often family oriented. A recent and well-executed example of modern slice-of-life is writer/director Josh Sternfeld's WINTER SOLSTICE--which begins in the middle of things and ends rather abruptly with the happening of a much-anticipated/dreaded event.

In the less then 90-minute narrative, a half-dozen good actors (Anthony LaPaglia, Aaron Stanford, Mark Webber, Allison Janney, Ron Livingston and Michelle Monaghan) are given the chance to shine. They do, beautifully, in scenes that are a bit elliptical and off-center but that delineate character remarkably well. If you've a taste for quiet (sometimes quite moving) reality, give this one a shot.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 5.33)
3 Votes
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