Lisa Schwarzbaum
April 06, 2005 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Winter Solstice

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
93 minutes
Limited Release Date
04/08/05
performer
Anthony LaPaglia, Aaron Stanford, Brendan Sexton III, Allison Janney, Ron Livingston, Mark Webber
director
Josh Sternfeld
distributor
Paramount Classics
author
Josh Sternfeld
genre
Drama

We gave it an A-

In Winter Solstice, writer- director Josh Sternfeld takes the prefab indie-flick building blocks — uncommunicative families, impacted grief, and suburban stagnation — and constructs something quite marvelous: a realistic drama that looks and feels as inevitably true and moving as a good documentary. Understatement is Sternfeld’s strength: Assembling muted vignettes about a bewildered New Jersey widower (Anthony LaPaglia), his two dammed-up teenage sons (Tadpole‘s Aaron Stanford and Storytelling‘s Mark Webber, both outstanding), and a neighbor (Allison Janney) who offers sunshine, the filmmaker is at his finest when he employs silence and inaction. What doesn’t happen is more moving than what does.</p

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