Winter Solstice (I) (2004)

R  |   |  Drama  |  24 November 2005 (Australia)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 1,224 users   Metascore: 59/100
Reviews: 27 user | 45 critic | 28 from

In this suburban drama, a widower (played by Anthony LaPaglia) confronts his older son's (played by Aaron Stanford) decision to leave home and his younger son's self-destructive behavior.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jim Winters
Gabe Winters
Pete Winters
Molly Ripkin
Robbie (as Brendan Sexton)
Mr. Bricker
Bill Brennan
Chris Bender
Kathleen Bridget Kelly ...
Mrs. Burton (as Kathleen Kelly)
Math Teacher


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »




Release Date:

24 November 2005 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

A Guerra dos Winters  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$20,393 (USA) (8 April 2005)


$319,228 (USA) (8 July 2005)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


The Rookie Year
Written by Myk Porter, Matt Traxler, John Sayre and Jared Jolley
Performed by Brandtson (as Brandston)
Published by Bookhouse Boys Music (SESAC)
Courtesy of Deep Elm Records, Inc.
By Arrangement with Crusty Old Timer, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

Sweet Meditation on A Family of Guys Without A Mother
15 April 2005 | by (Queens, NY) – See all my reviews

"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.

9 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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