Winter Passing Reviews
The film is so grindingly predictable that I was writing out a full plot synopsis in my notebook before it was half over, though the thick grains of Terry Stacey's photography and Deschanel's understated performance add a little kick.
Midway through, Rapp loses momentum, failing to hone in on just what kind of movie he wants to make, and Winter Passing languishes in that no-man's land between tiny, meandering, indie drama and plotted, pointed family melodrama.
Rapp plays out the relationships between these superficially drawn characters in an entirely pat manner, yet Deschanel manages to make Winter Passing almost matter. That's real talent.
Winter Passing is a classic example of a pedestrian motion picture being lifted out of mediocrity by an arresting lead performance. Zooey Deschanel doesn't just elevate Winter Passing; she carries it.
The writer-director's affection for those characters is apparent, but with the exception of a few unpredictable moments from Zooey Deschanel and Will Ferrell, Winter Passing finds only cliche as it reaches for profundity.