Playwright and character actor Tom Gilroy made his feature directorial debut with this dialogue-driven character study set against the backdrop of the changing seasons. Liev Schreiber plays Paul, a short-fused ex-con who finds unlikely comfort, stability, and camaraderie when he takes an odd job in park maintenance. On his first day, he's teamed with Murph (Ned Beatty), a groundskeeping veteran who manages to defuse an outburst between Paul and their snide supervisor (Campbell Scott). Paul sticks with the job, and, as the months pass, he and Murph work their way through events both mundane and monumental, all the while sharing their hopes, regrets, and ambitions. Shot in sequence over a one-year period, Spring Forward received a third-place mention for best first feature at the 1999 Toronto Film Festival.
by Michael Hastings synopsis