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
What happens when a spouse dies? There are no tender flashbacks in this film showing the husband and wife in their marital bliss before the wife dies. This film is about what happens afterward. Even five years later, the reverberations are being felt by the husband and his two young adult sons.
Keep your expectations realistic, and this film delivers. In a key scene, a high school history teacher asks the class, "Why did the Mongols turn back when they were poised to roll up Europe like a carpet?" Pete, the younger son, seems to know, but doesn't care to answer. The teacher offers to let him out of class (a makeup summer class) if he can answer.
Pete finally takes the bait: "Their leader died and they didn't know what to do." There you have it. Does the filmmaker do any more to explain what troubles this family? Yes, but you have to put the pieces together yourself. He doesn't make it hard; he just doesn't grind it up and put it in a baby food jar.
The film builds to some very touching scenes that explore the impact of loss on the three remaining family members. If you're interested in exploring how real people deal with the real issue of loss, you'll find something here.
The ending comes before you want it to, sure. There are no easy answers offered by the conclusion, but that's the way life is.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?