(2000)4Michael HastingsNeatly sidestepping the usual indie ineptitude, writer/director Tom Gilroy's intimate, static character study is the kind of film that uses its low budget to an advantage, mining emotions that a larger, more complicated shoot might have obscured. Spring Forward's set-up is resolutely uncommercial: two men, from different generations, talking about their lives over the course of the four seasons. Gilroy is a character actor, and as such, this is resolutely an actor's picture. But unlike other actors-turned-directors, Gilroy never allows his cast to grandstand, and the film is free of the sort of interminable, "improvisational" long takes and stage-bound business that hobbles most performer-oriented pictures. Better yet, the real-time setting of the picture allows leads Ned Beatty and, in particular, Liev Schreiber to make palpable emotional growth over the course of the film; it's that rare instance where a filmmaking method actually benefits an actor's method.