starring Anthony LaPaglia, Aaron Stanford, Mark Webber, Allison Janney
written and directed by Josh Sternfeld
starring Miranda Richardson, Callum Keith Rennie, Katharine Isabelle, Kristin Adams
screenplay by Esta Spalding, based on the novel by Barbara Gowdy
directed by Scott Smith
by Walter Chaw So reserved that it's almost invisible, Josh Sternfeld's Winter Solstice is an illustration of what it's like to be completely incapable of accessing one's emotions. It's a response, I can only guess, to over-scripted and maudlin independent pictures--and as a finger-wagged, consider it a point-taken. Still, if I have to sit through another family dysfunction picture (ironically what most people think of when they think of an indie "genre" film), I'd prefer to watch one that provides some kind of insight into my life or, failing that, resolution for the lives of the characters in limbo. It's not that I abhor ambiguity, understand, it's that Winter Solstice is more absent than ambiguous--almost a Warholian exercise in nothing happening whatsoever for a really long time. Maybe it's a mirror held up to our own disconnection with our emotions; and maybe that mirror would be better served held underneath the film's nose.