After years of struggling to conceive with her husband, Lizzie has given up hope of having a baby on her own. But when her best friend Andie finds herself pregnant after a one-night stand, ... See full summary »
Charlie Rankin, recently released from prison, seeks vengeance for his jail-house mentor William "The Buddha" Pettigrew. Along the way, he meets the ethereal, yet streetwise, Florence Jane. They embark on a unlikely road trip, careening towards an unlikely redemption and uncertain resolution.
Landscape gardener Jim Winters is a quiet craftsman, a soft-spoken man who prefers an orderly life. His family, however, is anything but orderly. Older son Gabe is planning his escape to Florida, leaving behind any shot at a stable future with his girlfriend. Younger son Pete has retreated into a private world of anger, drift and disappointment. Jim struggles watching his sons make choices he views as disastrous compromises. It is only when he meets his new neighbor, Molly, that Jim finds a way to deal with his own life and his family's future. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
When Jim puts a box in the truck, we see him sit it on top of other items and it sticks up too high to be able to shut the hatch but immediately we switch camera angle, and she slams the hatch shut. See more »
Sweet Meditation on A Family of Guys Without A Mother
"Winter Solstice" is a quiet, almost all-male counterpart to "Imaginary Heroes," dealing with the same theme of family grief, and was even filmed in the same town of Glen Ridge, NJ.
Debut writer/director Josh Sternfeld perfectly captures the inarticulatelessness of working class guys, particularly in father/son and brother/brother interactions.
Anthony LaPaglia as the landscaper dad and Aaron Stanford as his restless older son add to the minimal script with on screen charisma. It's sweetly charming how absolutely clueless they are in their lack of communication with the women who are attracted to them, but Allison Janney and Michelle Monaghan are overly understanding minor characters in their intersections with the dad and older son, respectively. I presume this is to emphasize the hole in their lives caused by the absence of the mother.
The problem is that without either more intervention by the women or the alcoholic violence of Sam Shephard's male family explorations, authentic looking and sounding guys hanging out together don't do very much or resolve issues. Pretty much the only plot point is the older son's gradual decision to leave --though I was surprised he has LPs to pack up--and how the other characters react to that.
It was nice to see Brendan Sexton again, more filled out, but he looked distractingly like the younger son played by Mark Webber so that I was confused at first that he was the best friend not the brother.
John Leventhal's intricate guitar playing on his original score is almost distractingly good. The song selections are beautiful sounding, though not particularly illustrative.
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