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As the seasons change in a Connecticut town, two men of different age and backgrounds who work together outdoors for the local park system, share thoughts and feelings that gradually deepen into a relationship approaching father and son. Paul is just out of prison for armed robbery, assigned to work with Murph, a middle-aged vet whose grown son Bobby is dying. Paul is trying to control his temper and build a spiritual side based on reading. Murph is a down-to-earth Sancho Panza to Paul's more ethereal ideas. And Murphy seems to need forgiveness for mistakes as a dad. As Murphy's retirement approaches and winter sets in, the men talk and love blossoms. Written by
Approaching retirement age, Connecticut parks and recreation worker Ned Beatty (as Murph) is partnered with young ex-convict Liev Schreiber (as Paul). In dire need of cash, the latter held up a "Dunkin' Donuts". While Mr. Beatty looks back on a life soon culminating with his own tragedy, Mr. Schreiber looks forward to a possible second chance. We begin with Schreiber's hot-tempered encounter with manipulative Campbell Scott (as Ronnie Fredrickson). This begins a father/son bond between the two leading men. Beatty decides to lend Schreiber a helping hand, for reasons which become evident; as we learn about Beatty's relationship with his own, doomed son. Writer/director Tom Gilroy's story unfolds slowly, and includes a couple of disjointed vignettes, but strands weave together outside a funeral home; and, we are left uplifted, after listening to two extraordinary men save lives they never expected to save.
******** Spring Forward (9/11/99) Tom Gilroy ~ Ned Beatty, Liev Schreiber, Campbell Scott, Catherine Kellner
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