Last night I went to a GenArt advanced screening. It was an independent film released through Paramount Classics, Winter Solstice starring Anthony LaPaglia, Allison Janney, Ron Livingston, Aaron Stanford and Mark Webber. The director Josh Sternfeld and some of the actors were present, but I did not get to speak with them at the after party.
It's about a widowed father (LaPaglia) struggling to raise his two sons. When the eldest son leaves home, the family tries to come to grips with his departure.
The film did a good job of showing the awkwardness of the male characters while interacting with one another without any female presence in their household. There were several simple comedic moments and realistic fights and behavior, all of which I appreciated. Mark Webber stole the show as the younger brother. Allison Janney also did a cute job as the quirky new next door neighbor and love interest.
The acting was really great and I felt relaxed and mellow watching the film, but nothing pivitol happens and it ends rather abruptly with an up-in-the-air ending. I still liked it though. It was the winner of the Hamptons Film Festival and will be released theatrically starting April 8.
My friend Cindy who went with me had a beef with the over sentimental flower shots and the constant playing of the same instrumental music, but I hadn't noticed.
Official website: www.paramountclassics.com/winter/