The profound, unlikely friendship between two men of different generations delivers the fullest possible emotional impact (Los Angeles Times) in this powerful character-driven drama. Oscar® nominee* Ned Beatty (Network) ... more »and Liev Schreiber (The Manchurian Candidate,The Sum of All Fears) are simply great (Leonard Maltin) in this remarkable, deeply affecting (Variety) story. Ex-con Paul (Schreiber) hopes for a fresh start at his new job, but his personal demons threaten to sabotage his shot at a second chance. Fortunately, his co-worker Murph(Beatty) is a straightforward guy who believes in lending a helping handjust what Paul needs if he can find the presence of mind to accept it. *1976: Supporting Actor, Network« less
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 10/01/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"SPRING FORWARD has been released on DVD and hopefully will be featured in displays that will garner the atttention this superb film deserves but lacked during its theatrical release. This is a quietly powerful film, made all the more so because it is created in such a simple, straight forward, coverstational style. This is one of the finest scripts for a film in many years. And Director Tom Gilroy allows the concepts and messages it contains to speak clearly and in an unfettered fashion that drives the points of the story home in the most sincerely beautiful say imaginable.Ned Beatty adds yet another crown to his acting career as the aging, Parks and Recreation worker who gives employment to a newly relased from prison lost youth (Liev Schreiber) and in doing so changes the misguided young man into to a solidly complete human being. Beatty owns this role - the father of a gay son in a small town who has been the victim of homophobia and now is dying of AIDS, while the father mourns the fact he has never been able to relate how deeply he loves this son. These life lessons pour into Paul (Liev Schreiber) who is hungry for acceptance and a sense of future in a world he sees as shallow and offensive. The manner in which these two men slowly develop a relationship that nurtures each other's needs is marked by encounters with small town people who are perceptively defined by superior cameo actors such as Peri Gilpin, Campbell Scott and others whos names fly by too quickly in the final screen credits. The four seasons in this unidentified New England town have rarely been so beautifully captures both in scenery and in the adaptive lifestyles each season commands. But some of the rarest moments are just the quiet, humor-laced, emotionally sensitive simple conversations tha grow between the two main character men. For example, in a discussion about reading, Beatty asks Schreiber about poetry and Scbrieber alludes to the fact that Native Americans use the same word for "breathing" as they do for "poetry", that the importance of making poems is the importance of living each day.Oh, this film is rich in simple philosophy, in the glow of real friendship, in the interplay of each of us as caring, involved-in-living individuals on this communal planet. This is a quietly brilliant achievement, a film you'll want to own."
John Margaritis | Floral Park, NY USA | 10/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Can a movie with no plot or action to speak of be any good? Well, the answer is yes and no and it all depends on who's asking. Most of the people I know would have no patience to sit through Spring Forward probably because it's a slow moving character study and involves no action. No guns, car chases, or explosions, just wonderfully written dialogue and strong fleshed-out characters. These days those qualities seem to be in such short supply and that's one of the reasons I loved every minute of this film.
The movie follows two Parks Department workers around on their daily errands. Harold(Ned Beatty)is the veteran who is on the verge of retirement and Paul(Liev Schreiber)is the new guy who just got out of jail for armed robbery. I knew what to expect from Beatty but was greatly surprised by Schreiber's performance--he was brilliant throughout. I never even heard of him before this movie.
The movie moves at its own pace, which is rather slow, but once I got into it the time went by rather quickly. The only conflict in the movie stems from Paul and his inclination toward self-desctruction. Paul's hit on some bad times and things haven't been looking up, but he seems like a decent guy who's trying to improve himself. Harold sees that and trys to give him some guidance without being overbearing. In return, Paul helps Harold deal with some guilt he feels towards his seriously ill son. The relationship that develops between the two men is truly special and handled with any hint of sentimentality.
I saw Spring Forward on a recommendation from a friend at work and couldn't thank him enough after I had watched it. I watch a lot of movies but there always seem to be some great ones that I haven't seen and love the feeling of discovering them for the first time. This is definitely one of them. "
Simple, Awesome movie!
Sharon Albright | Nottingham, PA | 12/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My husband and I rented this movie because it "sounded interesting"... now I bought it because it is such a simple, awesome movie about "life." No bells and whistles... sometimes you're almost confused because you expect this big dramatic scene... but it is just so cool. The actors are great and relate to each other so well... you see their lives "happen" through the seasons... just normal everyday life, but somehow it's more. The movie, for some reason, leaves you thinking and reflecting... what a great film."
"Spring Forward is a wonderful inquiry in the nature of life, where two Parks and Forests employees, and older experienced man and a younger man fresh out of jail, exchange their perspectives while going through a fall and a winter. This is a very thoughtful movie which will appeal to people who prefer great dialogue to action. I have to say that the time passed faster here than when watching many other movies, even though not much actually happens. Most scenes are full of sensibility and intelligence, although some are more hit-and-miss. But the basic theme of the movie - that sometimes we are consumed by looking for things that we already have - is really deployed to the fullest. We truly make our lives complicated when there is really no need for it. Five stars."
Excellent on Headphones
Robert Carlberg | Seattle | 10/11/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This fine character study is everything the other reviewers have stated -- compassionate, understated and intelligent. Ned Beatty is still one of my favorite actors.Can't add anything to what others already said, so I'll go off on a slight tangent. For an obviously low-budget movie, "Spring Forward" has gorgeous production values. Great lighting, great camerawork, excellent editing, beautiful score. But what struck me most, listening to the DVD late at night under headphones so as to not disturb my family, was the sound.The outdoor scenes, of which there are many, are phenomenally recorded. There is a 3-D depth and presence to the soundscapes that you rarely hear even in the majors. Do yourself a favor and experience the movie on headphones."