Labor Day

Depressed single mom Adele and her son Henry offer a wounded, fearsome man a ride. As police search town for the escaped convict, the mother and son gradually learn his true story as their options become increasingly limited.

I never got round to catching Labor Day at the cinema, with mixed reviews and a busy schedule at that time putting me off, and whilst it wasn’t as bad as I worried it was going to be, it does go down as a disappointment. I’m a big fan of director Jason Reitman – his three previous films (Juno, Up In The Air and Young Adult) are all really charming and funny, and despite this being a departure in terms of content, a lead duo of Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet had my attention. On the positive side, Brolin and Winslet are really good, selling what is a fairly absurd story and doing their best to make you believe in these characters and they’re motives.

The story itself is told through the eyes of a young boy, Henry (Gattlin Griffith as a youngster, Tobey Maguire as an adult), who lives with his single mum (Winslet) when they meet Frank Chambers (Brolin) in a supermarket. It turns out that Frank is an escaped convict, and despite the family realising this fairly early on, they seem content to go along with this. The premise stretches the realms of possibility and despite the best efforts of the cast, it just feels implausible that the family would go along with this as soon as they realise who Chambers really is. It’s a shame to an extent, as the film is clearly made with the best intentions and the performances are good, but it struggles to breakaway from the cliched melodrama of the source material.

Rating: 2/5

Directed By: Jason Reitman

Starring: Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, Gattlin Griffith and Tobey Maguire


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