Movie: Winter Solstice

Our Rating: 1.50

The cinema of rural tedium claims another victim – you – as a widowed gardener (Anthony LaPaglia) mopes around his New Jersey neighborhood, exploring new depths of uncommunicative dysfunction with his two sons while oh-so-slowly warming to the prospect of midlife intimacy with an innocuous temporary neighbor (Allison Janney). Only the terminally comatose would confuse any of this with drama; the closest thing to it arises when the older kid announces his intention to move to Florida to crash with a friend. Dad interprets that decision as a personal betrayal, ostensibly because it threatens to upset a fragile social balance that's predicated on everybody hanging around the local Dairy Queen and feeling sorry for him/herself. Not one word of the script rings any pithier or livelier than "reality," which begs the question of why it needed to be a movie in the first place. And the soundtrack? Folksy acoustic guitar, natch. This is the kind of long, dull Winter that makes you wish summer would get here right away, bringing with it the comforting prospect of getting to watch a car blow up or something. Anything.


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.