6.2/10
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28 user 44 critic

Winter Solstice (2004)

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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.

Director:

Josh Sternfeld

Writer:

Josh Sternfeld
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony LaPaglia ... Jim Winters
Aaron Stanford ... Gabe Winters
Mark Webber ... Pete Winters
Allison Janney ... Molly Ripkin
Michelle Monaghan ... Stacey
Brendan Sexton III ... Robbie (as Brendan Sexton)
Ron Livingston ... Mr. Bricker
Ebon Moss-Bachrach ... Steve
Frank Wood ... Bill Brennan
Kel O'Neill ... Tim
Thomas Sadoski ... Chris Bender
Kathleen Bridget Kelly Kathleen Bridget Kelly ... Mrs. Burton (as Kathleen Kelly)
Welker White ... History Teacher
Jason Fuchs ... Bob
Dana Segal ... Math Teacher
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 November 2005 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

A Guerra dos Winters See more »

Filming Locations:

Glen Ridge, New Jersey, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,393, 10 April 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$319,228, 10 July 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Sound Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

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 »


Soundtracks

Sunset Soon Forgotten
Written by Iron & Wine (as Sam Beam)
Performed by Iron & Wine (as Iron and Wine)
Published by Sam Beam (BMI)
Courtesy of Sub Pop Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sweet Meditation on A Family of Guys Without A Mother
15 April 2005 | by noraleeSee 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.


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