Winter Solstice (2004) is a English movie. Josh Sternfeld has directed this movie. Anthony LaPaglia,Aaron Stanford,Mark Webber,Allison Janney are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2004. Winter Solstice (2004) is considered one of the best Drama movie in India and around the world.
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.
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Josh Sternfeld has done the unthinkable. He has elected to tell a story merely by allowing the viewer to overhear the minimal dialogue of the characters without supplying a linear plot or explanation of how a little family fell apart. Landscaper Jim Winters (Anthony LaPaglia is a brilliant role) is the single father of two sons - Gabe (Aaron Stanford) who is the older and looking for ways to move away from his boring little small town home to find breathing space in Florida, and Pete (Mark Webber) a confused kid who wears a hearing aide and only sporadically seems to tune in to life and school. The three men live a fairly orderly life since the death 5 years ago of the wife/mother in a car accident which Pete survived. Jim tries to maintain some semblance of family but just cannot quite step out of his ill-defined grief to get a perspective on life. Obviously some forces of change are needed to heal this family of men. Into the neighborhood moves Molly Ripkin (Allison Janney) who is house sitting for friends while she breaks away from being a paralegal to try her hand at making unique jewelry. She connects with Jim, tries to connect with his sons, but at the least she introduces a figure of gentle concern and focused presence. Pete finds some understanding from a summer school teacher (Ron Livingston) and begins to see some concept of meaning to his life. Gabe's decision to leave for Florida's promise of better life means he also must say goodbye to his only rock of realism - his girlfriend Stacey (Michelle Monaghan). With all of these elements of change in the air the story just ends. What will happen now is left to us to decide. Yes, the film is slow moving, relying on minimal dialogue and more on silences and gazes. But Sternfeld opens this little family drama in such a tender way that we find ourselves wholly committed to the plight of each character. He makes us care. And that is the true beauty of minimalist art in film-making. The acting is first rate, with LaPaglia and Janney giving performances that deserve attention come awards time. Highly recommended for those who appreciate quiet sensitive films. Grady Harp
This is a very low-key film in which the action is inaction. LaPaglia's character, Jim Winters, in particular lives in the silences between the sounds. The film is redolent with the ghosts of unsaid words therefore as the viewer one must approach this film with the knowledge and appreciation that this is intended as a thought-provoking piece of cinema and so has no really big bursts of emotion. All the cast act beautifully, but as one has come to expect of Anthony LaPaglia he is outstanding. He plays a widower who after five years has still not come to terms with his bereavement, and as a result, though seemingly living an ordered day to day existence, in reality he finds it increasingly difficult relating to life in general and specifically to his two teenage sons. LaPaglia's portrayal is subdued and masterful; I don't think I know of any other actor who can so eloquently inhabit a role by apparently doing so little - definitely this is a case of art concealing art. This is a sensitive and rewarding film. And for all those guys out there who want this film to have some male endorsement, my husband liked the film very much when I asked him to watch it over Christmas, so it must be good.
In Winter Solstice Josh Sternfeld's debate as a director is a true original. This is a movie that shows exactly how men communicate. Men tend to avoid emotional conversations. Some women may look at this negatively because of their frustration with this fact. Women would love to see their men discuss their inner most feelings and share in their pain and happiness. This movie shows the truth behind men's issues with showing emotion. Many people would consider it an ego thing. I think it is more of pride in oneself. Men were brought up to stand on their own two feet, and to make it on their own steam. This is exactly what Jim Winters(played by Anthony Lapaglia) deals with in raising his two sons on his own. Jim and his two sons have to make it on their own after the loss of Jim's wife. The three communicate in a truly male way. Not saying much, but saying a lot in how they act and react. I could relate to this movie so well because all of the conversations I had with my father were very much the same as in this movie. If you are a man who wants to see men portrayed in the light they deserve go see this movie. If you are a woman frustrated with not being able to talk to your man, take some time to watch this movie and try to leave any prejudice at the door. Winter Solstice is not an exciting movie by any stretch of the imagination. Its about everyday life and how men deal with their lives. Go see it, but don't expect some major complicated plot. Its as uncomplicated as most men are.
Quick physics analogy here. (although I hate the discipline!) Imagine a family consisting of three forces pulling in opposite directions. What's gonna happen? Whatever exists between them is gonna start to show cracks, right? Well, even if this little scientific postulation of mine turns out to be incorrect, it still handily applies to the meditation on grief that "Winter Solstice" offers. If they were united as a group, they would be much stronger, but with the huge space vacated by a missing figure, they become a ship without a rudder. Fans, like me, of Lapaglia, Stanford or David Gordon Green's "All the Real Girls" should definitely come away from this with some food for thought. There are echoes of "In the Bedroom", too. Admirers of any mentioned will be pleasantly acquainted with the pace this film moves at as this is not a work for those who like their cinema to run loud, obvious and at a mile a minute. If low-key indie musing is your thing though, then I would suggest you check it out. It's content not to milk its material for moments of angst, so there are few showy moments for the actors. Suppressed anger is the main vent for hidden depths, so it could have been more 'raw', but taken together it nevertheless builds to something that is genuinely affecting.
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.