Not long ago, I went to a movie that was all too typical of small, independent American films—and not a few big studio productions, too. Spring Forward, written and directed by Tom Gilroy, had a lot going for it—mainly two terrific performances by Ned Beatty and Liev Schreiber as a couple of groundsmen employed by an unnamed town in Connecticut who get to know each other over the course of a year of working together. The seasons of the year are marked, like a medieval calendar, with the imagery of the suburban-bucolic, so that we are constantly aware of the passage of time and the deepening of a friendship, from the arrival on the job of Mr. Schreiber’s character, fresh out of the state penitentiary, until the exit from it of Mr. Beatty’s character, who has reached retirement age. Both the strength and the weakness of the film is that it consists almost entirely of conversations —about life, the universe, and...

 
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