Labor Day

Labor Day

(2013)

Drama from writer/director Jason Reitman (Up in the Air). An agoraphobic single mum (Kate Winslet) shelters an escaped convict (Josh Brolin) and slowly falls for him over the course of one very eventful Labor Day weekend. Adapted from the novel by Joyce Maynard.... More

While shopping with his mother Adele (Winslet), 13-year-old Henry encounters a bloody, dishevelled man (Brolin) who makes them take him back to their rural home. He turns out to be Frank Chambers, a convict who has escaped from jail and is doing his best to also move on from a tragic past. Despite their relationship's unorthodox beginnings, while this fugitive hides out at Adele's home the pair fall in love and begin making plans to leave the country - but the attentions of neighbours and local police may make this more difficult than hoped.Hide

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Flicks Review

Taking a hard left into total straight-faced drama, filmmaker Jason Reitman (Young Adult, Up in the Air) puts Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin in this Stockholm syndrome romance that treads uncomfortably close to last year’s Safe Haven. Through her trembling demeanour and frightened antelope-like glances, Winslet excels in portraying the years of stress that have depleted her agoraphobic character’s agency and Brolin is also consistently solid as her “captor” and love interest. Unfortunately, their bonding scenes fail to convince, with the majority of their romance taking place behind closed doors. A tame five-minute pie baking scene does more to evoke a desire for pie than the desire they supposedly have for each other. ... More

The love story reeks of Nicolas Sparks (“I’d take 20 more years just to have another three days with you,”), but the film is saved by an excellent third act that ramps up the tension of the “kidnapping” scenario. Using superbly subtle, interspersed flashbacks, Brolin’s character is momentously thrown into question – one that directly affects the motives of Winslet’s character’s son (Gattlin Griffith). The narrative gravitates towards the young teen considerably, shifting the film’s priorities to family themes and coming-of-age turns. It does so effectively, though the ideas surrounding young manhood are not that extensively examined compared to the likes of Mud and The Place Beyond the Pines.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

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Kate Winslet plays a vulnerable mother who lives with her teenage son (Gattlin Griffith). He takes on the role of parenting his mother who has moments of being unable to function in the real world. The tension and suspense comes from their captor Josh Brolin. I could feel the emotion and terror of the characters and was working through the interwoven story of Josh Brolin past.


The Press Reviews

32% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • Nuanced, superbly acted love story with a most unusual genesis. Full Review

  • Jason Reitman's fifth film is a marked departure for the director that serves up juicy roles for Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin. Full Review

  • “Labor Day” brims with such carefully observed details, all of them a little too elegant to feel entirely genuine, and yet impossible to fault. Full Review

  • Reitman has placed a not-unreasonable bet that sensual creatures like Winslet and Brolin can convey the passion necessary for their relationship to make sense, but the film carries itself too stiffly, like it’s so afraid of making the wrong choices that it doesn’t make any good ones. Full Review

  • The film will do until "Fifty Shades of Grey" turns up. The more you think about Labor Day, the more calculating it gets. Full Review

  • A tender, nostalgic and warm ‘family’ drama which also quietly seethes with the threat and tension of imminent danger. Full Review

  • Led by first-rate work from Winslet and Brolin, Labor Day is a skilful, old-fashioned drama from a maturing director. Cynics, however, need not apply. Full Review

The Talk
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