Winter Solstice

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Released 2004

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Movie Summary

Director:
Josh Sternfeld
Released:
2004
Rating:
R
Winter Solstice is a drama, directed by Josh Sternfeld, that deals with the conflict between a reserved father and his two rebellious sons. Jim Winters (Anthony LaPaglia) is a widowed landscape gardener living in a New Jersey suburb with his two young sons, Gabe Winters (Aaron Stanford) and Pete Winters (Mark Webber). Both sons are dealing with grief brought on by the accidental death of their mother in a car accident five years earlier. Gabe decides that he wants to forgo living a stable life with his loyal girlfriend Stacey (Michelle Monaghan) and instead wants to move to Florida without any concrete plans of what he will do when he arrives. Jim's youngest son, Peter, is also dealing with many problems. He has underachieved in his academic studies at school despite encouragement from his teacher. Peter has the added grief of being the only one present from the family when his mother was killed in the car accident. Jim is trying to keep his sons from making what he views as wrong life choices. The catalyst to bring the three together is a dinner invitation from neighbor Molly Ripkin (Allison Janney). Each must find a way to deal with their painful memories and loss.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 80

    Variety David Rooney

    Story of a still-grieving widower and his two troubled teenage sons is distinguished by its emotional integrity, sustained mood of aching melancholy and superbly understated perfor...

  • 70

    The New York Times Lawrence Van Gelder

    The boys, particularly Mr. Webber as Pete, are astonishingly good, and Ms. Monaghan, who looks like a slightly more tomboyish Liv Tyler, makes a deep impression in a minor role. Mr...

  • 70

    Los Angeles Times Kevin Thomas

    Sternfeld's approach is rigorously minimalist, which is a plus since the Winters family is in no way extraordinary or distinctive.

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    Categories

    Drama

    Themes

    Family Dramas, Independent