Obituary: Filmmaker Gary Winick

Gary Winick

Gary Winick directs the 2010 romance Letters to Juliet.

Filmmaker Gary Winick died Feb 27, 2011, after a long battle with brain cancer. He was 49 years old.

Winick emerged from the New York independent film community in the late 1980s with the producing of such genre efforts as Curfew (1989), Out of the Rain (1991) and 1995’s Sweet Nothing (a harrowing tale of crack addiction that he also directed and which starred Michael Imperioli and Mira Sorvino). He continued producing through 2007, primarily through InDigEnt, the digital video company he co-founded in 1999. Some of the two dozen films he produced include Pieces of April (2003), Lonesome Jim (2005) and Puccini for Beginners (2006).

He’s best known for the mainstream films he directed over the past decade, though, many of which could be considered to be “chick flicks.” Maybe, but all of them demonstrate the careful, unobtrusive touch of a filmmaker who’s wise enough to give his cast and the subject matter enough latitude to guide his movies to make them the best they can be.

Here are a handful of our favorite movies directed by the late Winick:

Tadpole movie scene

Tadpole (2002)

Tadpole (2002)
A clever little New York comedy about a 15-year-old prep school kid (Aaron Stanford, TV’s Nikita) who falls in love with his stepmother (Sigourney Weaver, Avatar).
Available on DVD from Miramax/Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

13 Going on 30 (2004)
Jennifer Garner (Juno) shines in this fantastical comedy romance about a 13-year-old girl who dreams about being older, only to wake up the next morning and discover that she’s turned into … Jennifer Garner!
Available on DVD and Blu-ray from Sony Home Entertainment

Charlotte’s Web (2006)
E.B. White’s classic children’s tale receives a fine live-action film adaptation, filled with fun special effects and featuring the voices of Julia Roberts (Eat Pray Love), Steve Buscemi (TV’s Boardwalk Empire), Dakota Fanning (The Runaways) and Robert Redford (The Natural).
Available on DVD and Blu-ray from Paramount Home Entertainment

Charlotte's Web movie scene

Charlotte's Web (2006)

Bride Wars (2009)
Stars Anne Hathaway (Love and Other Drugs) and Kate Hudson (Nine) look like they’re having a grand old time in this silly but fun-enough comedy about two best girlfriends fighting over their upcoming nuptials.
Available on DVD and Blu-ray from 2oth Century Fox Home Entertainment

Letters to Juliet (2010)
Set in a beautifully photographed scenic Italy, Winick’s final film is a lovely romance about an American girl (Amanda Seyfried, Dear John) vacationing in Verona and inspired to track down a pair of lost lovers — while stumbling on a little love of her own.
Available on DVD and Blu-ray/DVD combo from Summit Entertainment

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.