Winter Passing (2006) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: Actress Reese Holden has been offered a small fortune by a book editor if she can secure for publication the love letters that her father, a reclusive novelist, wrote to her mother, who has... Runtime: 98 mins Release Date: 17 Feb 2006
If You Liked Wonder Boys You Gotta See This..... (by RBI_triple)
This movie is amazing. Each character is wonderfully acted. The director does a great job of conveying the feelings of each character, as well as giving the right amount of back story to understand why each character acts in the way each does. Will Ferrell is outstanding as Corbit, the live-in "Rocker" who once played for the Christian Rock band "Punching Pilot". The writer establishes his authorship wonderfully in this movie, relying mostly on telling his story with the script instead of the camera. If you are a fan of wonderfully written script reliant stories, then this <more>
Adam Rapp brings us a touching little movie about an emotionally detached theatre actress/ bartender who seeks relief in alcohol, drugs and casual sex, her alcoholic father and his caretakers that include his former student and a Christian electric guitar player. At first I was under the impression that this would be a quirky black comedy which was the impression the poster gave . Rapp who is both writer and director makes the film with sophistication and finesse. Stories of lost people attempting to rebuild their broken lives have been portrayed many times but there is a distinct style in <more>
Rapp's presentation and the way he brings it all together in this film wholely involving the viewer into the lives of these characters all of whom are searching for something. The cinematography, art direction, editing and score work together beautifully never distracting from the main plot or the character. There is a poetic flow to 'Winter Passing', not the whimsical kind but more of the quiet whispering kind.Zooey Deschanel is easily among the finest actresses of her generation. This film should further prove what a versatile and gifted actress she is to those who have stated that her acting range is only limited to playing quirky, free-spirited and adventurous characters. She is superbly restrained and plays her part with full conviction. Ed Harris is equally stupendous as the tormented has-been writer who desperate tries to find grace in his work. Amelia Warner is lovely as the caring ex-student who has found a way to leave her troubled past behind and is content with the current comfort and peace. Will Ferrell is at his best yet again in a subtle but funny role of the shy, polite and courageous Corbit.'Winter Passing' is an underrated gem. It isn't always easy to watch but in the end one feels like they have watched something worthy. I certainly wouldn't mind revisiting sometime in the future.
Winter Passing is a world premier at the festival and the first feature film from playwright and author Adam Rapp, who wrote the screenplay and directed. The film follows Reese, a young actress played by Zooey Deschanel, who returns home from New York when a book publisher asks her to find the correspondence between her parents, both famous authors. Reese is drifting through life, so detached that she takes to slamming drawers on her hand just to feel something.She travels to her family home in Michigan, only to find that her ailing and eccentric father Ed Harris has taken in one of his <more>
former grad students Amelia Warner and a former Christian rocker Will Ferrell , after the death of his wife and Reese's mother. Reese's interactions with her father and the pseudo-family that has collected around him prompt her to expose her feelings about her childhood and relationship with her parents, and to come to terms with her own life.I thought this was an excellent film, especially considering this was Rapp's directorial debut. Zooey Deschanel gives a wonderful, emotional performance as Reese, and Will Ferrell does a restrained, thoughtful turn as the rocker/handyman Corbit. Rapp's story and characters were interesting, and the occasional light comic moments provided a nice counterpoint to the dramatic, emotional story at the heart of the film. I thought this was a film well worth watching.Writer/director Adam Rapp was present for a Q&A session after the film:The film came to being when Rapp was up for a grant through the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which had produced a couple of his plays. He came up with a synopsis for a four-character play set in the garage, and at the end, the garage door would open to reveal the furniture in the back yard. However, he didn't get the grant.At the time, he had signed with a west coast agent who suggested he write a screenplay. This prompted Rapp to open the story up, starting with Reese's departure from New York. Once he had finished it, Rapp said he couldn't imagine anyone but him screwing it up.On the subject of casting, Rapp said he first wrote to Ed Harris, who called him back three days later saying he wanted to do the movie. Having Harris on board allowed Rapp to attract other actors to at least read the script.At the time, Rapp shared the same agency with Will Ferrell. Rapp's agent suggested Ferrell for the film, but Rapp was hesitant because Ferrell was so big and was becoming very famous, and the character of Corbit is such a loner, kind of lost in the world, and trying to disappear, in many of the same ways as Ed Harris' character. But when Rapp met Ferrell, Ferrell was very decisive about how he wanted to do a small dramatic role, and he seemed to trust both the idea of it and Rapp, and they had a good rapport. Rapp added that Ferrell was one of the sweetest people he's ever met.For Zooey Deschanel, Rapp had met with about 45 actresses, but felt that she had the kind of dynamics he was looking for, that she had an incredible intelligence, was very good with language, and at the same time had an incredible emotional life. Rapp also loved her work in David Gordon Green's film, All the Real Girls.Rapp said that without the participation of Harris and Ferrell, they wouldn't have gotten the financing to make the film.Terry Stacey was the cinematographer, and he also did The Door in the Floor and In Her Shoes which is also showing here at the festival . He was Rapp's mentor a lot early in the process when Rapp didn't know that much about film or its technical execution.They sat together for about two months, talking about what films they liked and how they wanted it to look and move. Both are huge fans of 70's films like those by Bob Rafelson and Hal Ashby, and they talked about that, and how the camera would move, how it would become stiller as Reese became more still in her life.Rapp said that Stacey works with a lot of first-time directors, so he felt really lucky, and that Stacey is one of the funniest people he's ever worked with, and the he wears a funny hat a lot.When asked if he considers the music in the film the landscape of Resee's psychology, Rapp said very much so, that the musical selections were very important Rapp is also a musician . He felt the music carries the mood of the picture and Resee's inner life. Both Rapp and Meg Reticker, the editor, spent a lot of time listening to and experimenting with music. They worked to find a lot of female voices, like Cat Power and Dawn Landes, women around the same age as Reese, singing about things similar to what the character was going through in the movie.Asked about the scene where Harris and Ferrell are playing golf in a room in the house, Rapp said that he needed some way for Harris' character to destroy the room and turn it into something else, because the room was where he and his wife slept, and made love, and had their life. Rapp thought golf would be a theatrical sounding thing the sound of the balls and showing the walls crumbling . It also establishes that Harris' character has an agoraphobic bent; he puts the furniture on the lawn and the house is turning into other things through the grief that is going on.
Imperfect, yes, but Winter Passing managed to involve me and charm me without overstaying its welcome. A young woman barely in control of her life returns home to her estranged father only to find that he is in even less control of his. A redefined family searching for common ground, the daughter unsure of a relationship long-strained and left to wither. Some challenges and more than a little redemption. Adam Rapp did not over reach on any of these subplots and the performances, particularly by Deschanel and Harris, are very substantial, although Will Farrell was an interesting choice for his <more>
character. Many will probably expect him to start doing something silly, as opposed to only mildly funny.This is one of the best "films you've never seen" that I've come across lately.Well worth a try.
Subtle, poignant, beautifully written and performed. (by mschorr-1)
The film does have a plot, but it is pretty much irrelevant. In short, a young actress Zooey Deschanel , daughter of two tortured but successful authors, returns to her Michigan home some months after her mother's suicide in search of love letters written by her parents during her courtship and willed to her by her mother, with an eye to selling them for publication. Upon arrival, she discovers her father Ed Harris , deep in alcoholic despondency, living in the garage while his house is occupied by two young people. One is Corbit Will Ferrell yes, you read that right , a dysfunctional <more>
former Christian rocker who serves as something of a bodyguard for Harris. The other is Shelly Amelia Warner , a former student of Harris' who lives in the house and helps care for him.The characters are subtle, many faceted, beautifully written and exquisitely played. The arc of the film is one of growing understanding and tolerance and the onion of their pain is gracefully peeled.The surprise in this film is Ferrell. He gives a quiet, controlled, thoroughly honest performance. As we have come to expect from him in his madcap comedies, he commits fully to this character and not a moment rings false.This gentle film is more than worth an investment of 98 minutes.
Greetings again from the darkness. When writers attempt to tackle too many themes in one story, usually none are complete. Writer and Director Adam Rapp brother Anthony is of "Rent" fame and has a brief cameo in this one is extremely ambitious as he explores parenthood, artistic genius, friendship, community, guilt and the desire to feel love and pain. Surprisingly Rapp is mostly successful in pulling off a most complex script.Ed Harris stars as a reclusive writer with more than a nod to J.D. Salinger his last name is Holden ... get it? . In poor health and being taken care of by <more>
a former student Amelia Warner and a broken down rhythm guitarist Will Ferrell , Harris is taken aback when his long lost daughter Zooey Deschanel shows up one day. Drastically altering the dynamics of this bizarre little community, Deschanel literally steals the film. She spills her soul on screen and we somehow understand her habit of slamming her hand in a drawer just to feel something. She is a pitiful person seeking redemption and her place in life.Harris and Warner are fine in their roles, but Ferrell is a real distraction. As a viewer, we don't see the character. We see Will Ferrell on screen ... acting goofy and clumsily mumbling his lines. His open mike night could easily have been an SNL skit. This movie would have been much better with a straight forward actor in this role. That said, I still have faith Ferrell will succeed as a dramatic actor. If Robin Williams could make the transition, surely Elf can.If you might enjoy multi-layered story telling, a tremendous performance by Zooey and can look past Will Ferrell, this movie has a lot to offer.
Though the cover for the DVD of WINTER PASSING a photo of the four main characters crowded into a box may make many potential viewers pass over this little film, thinking that it must be silly slapstick, this is a fine film written and directed with finesse and style by Adam Rapp, a new face whose talents have been somewhat limited to working on episodes of the TV series 'The L Word'. Rapp gives notice of a fine writer and an equally fine director in this barely noticed little touching movie.Reese Holdin Zooey Deschanel lives in New York, an actress relegated to small parts in off <more>
Broadway theater while spending her days as a bartender hooked on alcohol, drugs and casual sex. Her life seems dead-ended: she has become anesthetized by her manner of living. An agent Amy Madigan approaches her with an offer to pay her for the letters between her parents, both once famous authors. Her mother has just died, and Reese didn't attend her funeral, so distant does she feel is her relationship to her past. But the spark of money moves her to ride a bus back to her Michigan home to salvage the letters to sell for publication.Arriving home she is greeted by the weird Corbit Will Ferrell , a Christian electric guitar player and composer who ears black eyeliner etc, but does care for Reese's severely alcoholic father - the once famous writer Don Holdin Ed Harris who hasn't written a novel in years and lives in the garage of his home under the care of Corbit and an ex-student Shelley Amelia Warner , a bright very young girl with demons of her own. Reese works at reconnecting with her father, struggles with her resentment for the 'caregivers', and ultimately finds the letters she came for, only to make discoveries about her dysfunctional family and her father's status that alters her view of his value as her parent.The movie is rather stagy and most of the action is unspoken, and while that technique of telling this particular story seems exactly right to this viewer, there are some who will feel frustrated at the rather static pace of the film. Zooey Deschanel once again proves that she is one of our finest actresses on the screen and hopefully this role will bring her to the attention of casting agents and result in our seeing more of this gifted actress in the future. Ed Harris is superb as the wasted, quietly grieving has-been author, keeping his performance understated and in doing so creating a character that is indelible in our minds long after the movie is over. Amelia Warner is also a fine little actress and even galumphing Will Ferrell brings more than his usual tiring comedic talents to this touching role. In all this is a movie that deserves wide attention. There is more to quietly hear and understand about interpersonal relationships than we would expect from the cover! Grady Harp
"Winter Passing" is a lot of things besides being a very good movie. I don't want to miss the chance to say that it could have been a lot better, but it is what it is and what it is, is what we get. In this way, what we get is a very introspective portrait of sad and lonely people; I know it doesn't sound right but that's all I'm going to say about the film.The thing is that when you love cinema, you watch films even if you don't know what they are about and you understand the nature of each movie; "Winter Passing's" nature is loneliness, not just <more>
its characters' but the sceneries' it's set in. In fact, it's one of the most contemplative and observing films I've seen this year.No wonder the cinematography is by Terry Stacey from "The Door in the Floor"; it makes you watch He uses a lot of darkness and creates a mood so depressing that sometimes you can't figure out what's going on. But it is a good trick, because when the sun comes out and you've been expecting it ; Stacey's images look beautiful.Adam Rapp, the man who directed and wrote the film, has a good narrative eye and we sense it constantly during the film, but he also has a talent for directing actors; and there's also credit to the casting directors for this: the most unusual small ensemble. A weird and special actress Zooey Deschanel , a comedian Will Ferrell , a character actor Ed Harris , and a rising English young star Amelia Warren They all work perfectly together, because each of them understands the fragile situation of their character and the rest.By the way, Harris is working really hard these days and has a lot of films we still haven't seen. And about Ferrell, I wanted to say this after watching "Blades of Glory", a regular and overrated film I didn't write about in which the comedian was the best element...Whether he does comedy or drama, his hair is long or short, black or brown; Ferrell always constructs his characters from zero. He picks little things and starts repeating them throughout a movie, to prove he is completely in character. You should pay close attention to his work in any film.Rapp crafted a solid screenplay that's maybe a bit over sentimentalist, but he intelligently clarifies it in a crucial part of the movie. However, for a story so humane and real, he could have been harsher; because his elegant narration and images ask for it. However, in his piece, and like in the best dramas, things are said better by means of the images and not of the words; and that's always appreciated.Also, if anything, "Winter Passing" is living proof that Zooey Deschanel is a fantastic actress; that when she wants she can leave eccentricity and also do great things because she does great things when she's eccentric ; that she can carry a whole movie by herself and that it should happen more often. But probably it won't, because she's one of the most down-to-earth people in the business, and she only works when it's worth it Too bad.