If Winter Passing is any indication of first-time director Adam Rapp's emotional state, he's one cold customer. Dreary, bleak and downright dour, nearly all of the film's characters have far from a sunny disposition. Zooey Deschanel plays a way, way off Broadway actor barely getting by who's offered a handsome sum by a publisher to retrieve the letters from her reclusive father (Ed Harris), a famous author.
She arrives in Michigan and finds her barely breathing Dad living in the garage with a couple of strangers, including a very serious Will Ferrell, acting as his bodyguard and housekeeper. Deschanel is reluctant to acknowledge her new "siblings," but they slowly help build back her relationship with Dad. As family dramas go, this one unfolds tediously, but for the most part, effectively, and features all the actors in method mode, only speaking when necessary. If you're looking for something a bit more lighthearted, head elsewhere. But that doesn't mean we're going to give a bad Rapp to this dark and complex tale.