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Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice

Director:Josh Sternfeld
Cast:Anthony LaPaglia, Aaron Stanford, Mark Webber, Allison Janney
Release Date:2005

By Bret McCabe | Posted 5/18/2005

Another intimate drama about a quiet family turmoil, another proof that men are total idiots: In a verdant New Jersey suburb, gardener and father Jim Winters (Anthony LaPaglia) and his sons Gabe (Aaron Stanford) and Pete (Mark Webber) drift apart following the death of wife/mom five years previous. Jim is either too overbearing or stoic, Pete apathetically fails high school classes, and Gabe feels so rudderless he’s planning a move to Florida without telling anybody. What’s a troubled trio of boys to men to do? How about opening their fucking mouths: Winter Solstice is the sort of movie that assumes wordless stretches of picturesque images achieves poignancy via reflective acoustic guitar accompaniment, that men are by nature incapable of thoughts outside “sad” or “hungry,” and its idea of subtlety is naming Jim’s gardening company Terra Firma. Of course, a sunny side of life’s street appears when the good-natured Molly (Allison Janney) moves to the neighborhood for the summer, and you see the all-I-need-is-a-good-woman embers start to light Jim’s eyes. Quick, Molly/Janney—run away while you still have that smile on your face and avoid roles that reduce you to plot point.

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