Donald Cried (NR)
Cloaked in his own concerns, Peter doesn't realize what he'll unleash by turning up on the Treebecks' doorstep. Donald makes him cringe, fighting back waves of regret and revulsion; he's a living, wheezing reminder of what Peter escaped -- and escaped being. In a bitterly funny performance, Avedisian lets Donald's freak flag fly, a big-toothed grin lighting up his face, framed by a shaggy haircut not deliberate enough to be a mullet. He can also subtly shift from awesome positivity to slumped sadness in a heartbreaking gesture of resignation.
Wakeman and Avedisian created these characters for a 2012 short and collaborated on a storyline (with Kyle Espeleta) for the feature, shot while Rhode Island was smothered in knee-deep snow, a wintry playground for frustrated men to revisit misspent youth. A cruel incident from the past that provides the film's title reveals complicated power dynamics in Peter and Donald's friendship, which shaped their personalities. The unsettling day they spend together reminds them of how much each affected the other's life -- even after they took diverging paths.