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Fast-Paised review: ‘Winter Passing'

Big question: Cocaine-fueled actress Reese (Zooey Deschanel) returns home to her father (Ed Harris), a widowed author, to retrieve love letters he exchanged with her mother. Is Adam Rapp's "Winter Passing" just season's greetings from the neurotic land of family dysfunction?

Catch it: "Winter Passing" is persistently bleak as it insightfully unearths hard truths about childhood. The themes are reminiscent of "The Squid and the Whale," but Rapp's exploration reveals more about why it's tough to be the kid in a literary family.

Skip it if: You're looking for a Will Ferrell reinvention in his supporting role as the mild-mannered Corbit. He's still goofy; just quieter.

Bottom line: Deschanel carries the heavy and sometimes uneven "Winter Passing," which possesses not only a love of language but a moving adoration for the language of love.

Bonus: Forget what is meant by the line, "The spice is in the turtle shed." Just have fun trying to use it in everyday conversation!

mpais@tribune.com

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'Winter Passing'

Written and directed by Adam Rapp; photographed by Terry Stacey; edited by Meg Reticker; production designed by David Korins; music by John Kimbrough; produced by P. Jennifer Dana and David Koplan. A Yari Film Group release; opens Friday. Running time: 1:38. MPAA rating: R (language, some drug use and sexuality).

Reese Holden - Zooey Deschanel

Don Holden - Ed Harris

Shelly - Amelia Warner

Corbit - Will Ferrell

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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