This 2005 flick, written and directed by Adam Rapp, is mostly unentertaining and slightly annoying. While the film immediately works to portray a melancholy, alternative-lifestyle-feel, it merely comes off as trying to be artsy, rather than actually containing any elements that would actually make it an art film.
Zooey Deschanel who gave stellar performances in films such as The Good Girl (2002), Eulogy (2004) and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005), stars in Winter Passing (2005), but falls far from the cinematic tree she earlier climbed so high in. Deschanel plays Reese Holden, the daughter of Don Holden (Ed Harris), a famous, yet reclusive writer who has hidden some manuscripts very desired by the literary world. After the death of her mother and an emotional separtion with her father, Reese is offered a large sum of money to obtain and release the manuscripts. As a struggling actor, Reese accepts and ventures home only to find that everything she knew about ‘home’ has changed.
So many elements of this film fail to work. The character psychology is lacking and the performances are just blatantly unbelievable. As a usual fan of Ed Harris, I found myself very befuddled and equally dissapointed with his strange bearded character; it merely seemed like a facade to hide his very flat, unfaceted acting. Will Ferrell even makes an appearance as Corbit, Don Holden’s live-in (friend?). As he was clearly enlisted as comic relief, he does this in his usual confused, unattached way, but even this doesn’t work for me, it simply falls flat. We learn almost nothing about Corbit throughout the film and his believability is on par with Maggie Smith in a Sci-Fi flick, it is just so unlikely. As the film slowly moves to transform Reese and give her a new perspective on the world, you just don’t care by the middle of the film what happens to her and by the end, can you even imagine?
The film just goes nowhere. Reese Holden is full of angst and confusion, but it just does not pull you in like its meant to. I lost interest throughout the course of the film and found myself looking at my watch, a tell-tale sign of a bad movie. I do wish I could get that time back and at the same time ask Adam Rapp why it was so necessary to invest in Winter Passing. Maybe there is some emotional attachment, or some real-life experience projected in this film by Rapp. But if this is the case, what a boring experience it must have been, and to be honest, I’m surprised he even remembers, because Winter Passing is truly forgettable.