Labor Day (2013) Poster

Labor Day (2013)

  • Rate: 6.7/10 total 1,326 votes 
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Date: 31 January 2014 (USA)
  • Runtime: 111 min
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Labor Day (2013)

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  • IMDb page: Labor Day (2013)
  • Rate: 6.7/10 total 1,326 votes 
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Date: 31 January 2014 (USA)
  • Runtime: 111 min
  • Filming Location: Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, USA
  • Director: Jason Reitman
  • Stars: Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, Gattlin Griffith | See full cast and crew »
  • Original Music By: Rolfe Kent   
  • Soundtrack: Here Before
  • Sound Mix: SDDS | Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Escaped Convict | Mother Son Relationship | Written By Director | Single Mother | Based On Novel

Writing Credits By:

  • Jason Reitman (screenplay)
  • Joyce Maynard (based on the novel by)

Known Trivia

    Plot: 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. |  »

    Story: 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.

    FullCast & Crew

    Produced By:

    • Michael Beugg known as executive producer
    • Jason Blumenfeld known as co-producer
    • Helen Estabrook known as producer
    • Lianne Halfon known as producer
    • Steven M. Rales known as executive producer
    • Jason Reitman known as producer
    • Mark Roybal known as executive producer
    • Russell Smith known as producer

    FullCast & Crew:

    • Kate Winslet known as Adele
    • Josh Brolin known as Frank
    • Gattlin Griffith known as Henry
    • Tobey Maguire known as Adult Henry
    • Tom Lipinski known as Young Frank
    • Maika Monroe known as Mandy
    • Clark Gregg known as Gerald
    • James Van Der Beek known as Officer Treadwell
    • J.K. Simmons known as Mr. Jervis
    • Brooke Smith known as Evelyn
    • Brighid Fleming known as Eleanor
    • Alexie Gilmore known as Marjorie
    • Lucas Hedges known as Richard
    • Micah Fowler known as Barry
    • Chandra Thomas known as Bank Teller
    • Matthew Rauch known as Bank Manager
    • Doug Trapp known as Grocer
    • Kate Geller known as Shopper
    • Ed Moran known as Prosecutor
    • Sam Rush known as Bowling Manager
    • James Chen known as Paramedic
    • John Kooi known as Special Service Officer
    • Dylan Minnette known as High School Henry
    • Eileen Faxas known as Anchor Woman #1
    • Lynn Jolicoeur known as Anchor Woman #2
    • John Rue known as Highway Patrolman
    • Ashley Ingram known as Prison Nurse
    • Thomas McGowan known as Delivery Doctor (as Thomas H. McGowan)
    • Kate Hettesheimer known as Pricemart Cashier
    • Elena Kampouris known as Young Rachel McCann
    • Lauren Kelly known as Teenage Rachel McCann
    • Cass Morgan known as Grandmother
    • Dakota Shepard known as Wife of Older Henry
    • Tara Franklin known as Delivery Nurse
    • Grace Thorsen known as Pregnant Woman
    • Micah Shepard known as Red-Headed Man
    • Marceline Hugot known as Mrs. Farnsworth
    • Marva Hicks known as Morning Anchor
    • Linda Marie Larson known as Waitress
    • Matthew Christian known as Bar Guy
    • Jeff Witzke known as Local Cop
    • Kilo Alexander known as Young Adult (uncredited)
    • Jacqueline Astbury known as Bar Patron (uncredited)
    • Stephanie Atkinson known as Pregnant mom in bank (uncredited)
    • Don L. Bagley known as Bartender (uncredited)
    • Kt Baldassaro known as Woman at Bus Stop (uncredited)
    • Jeffrey Corazzini known as Corrections officer (uncredited)
    • D.W. Cormier known as Inmate (uncredited)
    • Richard DeAgazio known as Prosecutor (uncredited)
    • Tess Degen known as Wagonwheel Patron (uncredited)
    • Aaron Dorsey known as Chef (uncredited)
    • Alexandra East known as (uncredited)
    • Sarah Fischer known as Budweiser 80's Girl (uncredited)
    • Patricia Fitzgerald known as Schoolgirl (uncredited)
    • Steve Flynn known as Bank Customer (uncredited)
    • Victor Franko known as Movie Patron (uncredited)
    • Ellis Gage known as Boy in Amusement Park (uncredited)
    • Mark Garrigus known as Driver #1 (uncredited)
    • Mickey Gilmore known as Man Getting Ice Cream with Son (uncredited)
    • Barbara Guertin known as Diner Waitress (uncredited)
    • Michael J Hammett known as Shopping Boy (uncredited)
    • Mark Hawk known as Paramedic (uncredited)
    • Rosemary Howard known as 80s Diner Patron (uncredited)
    • Mike Jablon known as Single Dad (uncredited)
    • Casey Kelly known as Waitress (uncredited)
    • J Parker Kent known as Prisoner (uncredited)
    • Jessica Kent known as Girl with Ice Cream Cone (uncredited)
    • Jeffery Kincannon known as Prisoner (uncredited)
    • John Joseph Lindsey known as Patron Chinese Restaurant (uncredited)
    • Phyllis Lynn known as Prime Rib Restaurant Patron (uncredited)
    • Colin Mackey known as Farm Hand (uncredited)
    • Benjamin Manoli known as Boy at Amusement Park (uncredited)
    • Adam Masnyk known as Young SWAT Member (uncredited)
    • Casey McDougal known as Pie Shop Patron (uncredited)
    • Aidan Milsted known as Teen (uncredited)
    • Greg Nutcher known as Officer Benson (uncredited)
    • Richard Pacheco known as Umpire (uncredited)
    • Kaitlyn Parks known as Girl at Amusement Park (uncredited)
    • Jim Patton known as Baseball Dad (uncredited)
    • Dennis Pietrantonio known as Lawyer (uncredited)
    • Gabrielle Popa known as Library Girl (uncredited)
    • Christopher S. Porter known as Patient (uncredited)
    • Meredith Prunty known as Rachel's Friend (uncredited)
    • Suzanne Prunty known as Bargain Shopper (uncredited)
    • Donna Glee Reim known as Pie Baker (uncredited)
    • Floyd Richardson known as Bus Rider (uncredited)
    • Gary Roscoe known as Court Lawyer (uncredited)
    • Monica Saviolakis known as Pie Shop Patron (uncredited)
    • Savannah Rae Shiever known as Photo Double 'Adele' (uncredited)
    • Ava Sophia known as Girl with Ice Cream (uncredited)
    • Alex Sutherland known as Student (uncredited)
    • Kallie Tabor known as Rachel's Friend (uncredited)
    • Aingea Venuto known as Shopper Kid (uncredited)
    • George J. Vezina known as Vintage pickup driver / misc. BG (uncredited)
    • Billy 'V' Vigeant known as Prisoner (uncredited)
    • Alyssa Mae Walsh known as Chloe (uncredited)
    • Alex Ziwak known as Prisoner (uncredited)

    ..

     

    Supporting Department

    Makeup Department:
    • Liz Bernstrom known as key makeup artist
    • Elizabeth Cecchini known as key makeup artist
    • Andy Clement known as special makeup effects: Pig
    • Jerry DeCarlo known as hair department head
    • Rob Fitz known as makeup artist
    • Robin Myriah Hatcher known as special makeup effects production coordinator
    • Tricia Heine known as key makeup artist
    • Raul Hernandez known as hair stylist
    • Brenda McNally known as hair stylist
    • Ivana Primorac known as hair designer: Kate Winslet
    • Ivana Primorac known as makeup designer: Kate Winslet
    • Jamie Taylor known as makeup artist
    • Christien Tinsley known as makeup department head
    • Christien Tinsley known as special makeup effects designer and creator
    • Hiroshi Yada known as special makeup effects crew: Tinsley studio

    Art Department:

    • Beth Anderson known as props
    • Bobby Anderson known as picture car coordinator
    • Audra Avery known as set designer
    • Risa Uchida Battis known as additional prop assistant
    • Alix Belleville known as art department production assistant
    • Rachel Burgio known as set dresser
    • Mickey Carter known as set dresser
    • Jason Case known as set dresser
    • Jessica Case known as set dresser
    • Gary Chandler known as set dresser
    • Danica Chipman known as set decoration buyer
    • Cosmas A. Demetriou known as set designer
    • Sean Doyle known as construction office coordinator
    • Thomas V. Johnson known as lead scenic
    • Joseph Kearney known as construction coordinator
    • Bridget Keefe known as set dressing foreman
    • Hannah King known as painter
    • Ellen Lampl known as prop graphic designer
    • Kevin C. Lang known as set dresser
    • Kim Leoleis known as set dresser
    • Dave Major known as property assistant
    • Nancy A. Pavia known as set dresser
    • Jeremy M. Pereira known as scenic artist
    • Eugene Pope known as greens coordinator
    • Michael Potter known as set dresser
    • Gina Rhodes known as head draper
    • David Rickson known as scenic artist
    • Peter Rippe known as carpenter
    • John Ryder known as set dresser
    • Robert Schleinig known as leadman
    • Michelle Sherwood known as assistant property master
    • Rae Signer known as scenic foreman
    • Brandon Smith known as graphic artist
    • Vyvian B. Stevens known as set dresser
    • Chris Sullivan known as art department coordinator
    • Kathryn Tedesco known as art department assistant
    • Christine Tobin known as food stylist
    • Cammeron Truesdale known as painter
    • Chris Ubick known as property master
    • Peter Wilcox known as general foreman

    ..

     

    Company

    Production Companies:

    • Indian Paintbrush
    • Mr. Mudd
    • Right of Way Films

    Other Companies:

    • Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment  camera dollies
    • Dolby Laboratories  sound mix
    • Ear Candy Post  sound post-production
    • EarCandy  sound post-production
    • High Output  grip and lighting equipment
    • Indian Paintbrush  funding
    • Modern VideoFilm  post-production services (digital intermediate)
    • Transportation Resources  transportation equipment
    • Walking City Production Rentals  equipment rentals
    • Warner Bros. Records  soundtrack

    Distributors:

    • Paramount Pictures do Brasil (2014) (Brazil) (theatrical)
    • Paramount Pictures (2014) (France) (theatrical)
    • Paramount Pictures (2014) (USA) (theatrical)
    • United International Pictures (UIP) (2014) (Argentina) (theatrical)
    • United International Pictures (UIP) (2013) (Hungary) (theatrical)
    • United International Pictures (UIP) (2014) (Singapore) (theatrical)
    • Universal Pictures International (UPI) (2014) (Netherlands) (theatrical)

    ..

     

    Other Stuff

    Special Effects:

    • Tinsley Studio (prosthetic makeup effects)

    Visual Effects by:

    • Chris Chappell known as compositor
    • Myong Choi known as compositor: Level 256
    • Scott M. Davids known as visual effects supervisor: Level 256 VFX
    • Seth Kleinberg known as visual effects producer
    • Adam Lima known as digital effects artist
    • Dennis Murillo known as visual effects coordinator: Level 256

    MPAA: Rated PG-13 for thematic material, brief violence and sexuality

    ..

     
     

    Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database


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    Posted on February 2, 2014 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , .

    10 Comments

    1. Tania M from Canada
      02 Feb 2014, 6:00 am

      I attended the premiere of Labor Day at the Toronto International FilmFestival. Most people walked in expecting a Juno/Up in the Air stylecomedy and if that's what you expect you'll be mildly surprised. Thefilm is darker that Reitman's usual works though you still recognizethe director's touch.

      The movie tells the story of Adele (Kate Winslet), a woman who slowlyshut herself off from the world, relying heavily on her young son Henry(Gattlin Griffith), whose father abandoned them to another wife andother children. Enters a menacing escaped convict (Josh Brolin) whofinds refuge with Adele and her son as he tries to remain hidden fromthe police.

      The summary will have you believe that 'the mother and son graduallylearn his true story as their options become increasingly limited.' orthat the family realizes they're now prisoners in their own home whichmakes it sound like the movie is going to be some sort of Panic Room 2but the story is nothing like that. As Adele and her son get to knowthe prisoner, they both find the family they've been longing for.

      It's a beautiful story despite being somewhat implausible but I foundwhat mattered wasn't the story we see, so much as witnessing thecharacters finally having a shot at happiness and how the remainder oftheir days is shaped by this weekend they spent together. This filmisn't driven by dialogue as much as Reitman's other films were. Thedirector has said in interviews that he found it challenging to do amovie where there was little dialogue (he actually said without musicor dialogue and I walked in half expecting to see a silent film.) Heworked around it by having Tobey Maguire narrate the film as an olderHenry. The narration works though I think the film could have donewithout it as well. Don't let the whole 'silent' thing keep you fromseeing this film, I found there was enough dialogue, and there is musicas well though unlike Juno it doesn't play as a whole hipstersoundtrack.

      The movie is more subtle yet more raw, slower than his usual films andit lets the actors take us through every emotion. Kate Winslet is aterrific actress and she gave a beautiful performance as Adele, veryconvincingly portraying a woman who's given up on living. Josh Brolinwas great as well, giving us both a tough convict and a soft heartedman at times. Gattlin Griffith was great at a kid who grew up fasterthan he should. I'm always very iffy when it comes to child actors buthe pulled it off very well.

      In conclusion, Labor Day is a different, more adult and more maturefilm from Jason Reitman. It's a nice transitions from his previouscomedies and goes a bit deeper than his other films, bringing tension,tears and some laughs. Whether you're already a Reitman fan or not, Irecommend this film, you'll be pleasantly surprised.

    2. Scenic_Westeros from Wallis and Futuna
      02 Feb 2014, 6:00 am

      Labor Day is an unbelievably gorgeous mood piece, a finely-tuned filmwhich is strongly driven by senses and emotions over plot or story.It's arguably one of the best films of 2013.

      I haven't seen a Reitman film since Juno so I haven't caught up. So I'mnot sure where he matured from a 'good' director of a quirky script toan 'art' director who can carry an entire film on his shoulders. That'snot to say everyone else in this film didn't do a great job. But thefilm works because of Reitman's meticulous vision.

      Heavy use of cross-fades, editing driven by emotional undercurrent overlogic, and some stream-of-consciousness flowing from a mysterioussource. The music is avant-garde and beautiful, one moment eerie andunsettling, the next pleasant and lilting. Which reflects the way thefilm, like a piece of classical music, displays sudden shifts of moodor tonality, back and forth, requiring your utmost concentration andappreciation.

      Writing too much else would spoil the fun. But the mindset you shouldbring this film, should you want to see it, is to give yourself over tothe experience, rather than bringing an overly (and unnecessarily)critical mind to it's 'unoriginal' or 'uneventful' plot.

    3. Joe Jodoin from Ontario
      02 Feb 2014, 6:00 am

      The movie Labor Day stars Kate Winslet, Gattlin Griffith, and JoshBrolin. When I saw this film yesterday, I was lucky enough to have thedirector, Jason Reitman, get up on stage and introduce the movie. Hemade it clear that this film was not a comedy, but a romantic dramathat he made with tons of passion. For what it is, I think the film isamazing. I will warn you, this is a film was made for women, but guyscan appreciate it too.

      So this movie was fun to watch. There was a lot of tension, and theactors did a good job of making even the unbelievable situations seemnatural. There was a mystery that unfolded over the course of themovie, and the film was able to create real emotion and genuine shockfrom the audience. There is also great cinematography, nice subplots,and a final quarter that keeps you guessing. I'm not exaggerating anyof this, so seriously ignore the critics and give this film a chance.

      The main thing that is wrong with the film is a certain level ofdisbelief, but it doesn't require more suspension of disbelief than anyof the big blockbuster movies. It could also get cheesy and a littleuncomfortable to watch at times, but it is still a great movie. i hopeJason Reitman continues to make great movies, as he has not made asingle misstep in his career yet.

      This is a good movie to take a girl to on a date, and I'm sure you bothcould enjoy it. It is a little like a Nicolas Sparks book except withOscar level acting, directing, cinematography, and screen writing, soif that sounds like your kind of thing, I highly recommend this movie,and reward it with an 8.7/10 stars.

    4. tigerfish50 from Old London, New England
      02 Feb 2014, 6:00 am

      'Labor Day' begins in a broken American household. After his parents'divorce, a sensitive seventh-grader chooses to stay with his depressedmother rather than join his father's new family. Henry and Adele remaintrapped in a sad, dysfunctional relationship as a child parenting atraumatized adult until they embark on a fateful shopping trip prior toa holiday weekend. They are accosted in a discount store by athreatening stranger, Frank, who demands they give him a ride in theircar, and accompanies them to their dilapidated rural home. By the nextmorning it's apparent he's a dangerous escaped convict, and hisdeparture has become impossible since a police dragnet has surroundedthe area.

      After this disturbing first act, the film soon leaves 'DesperateHours/Straw Dogs' territory in the rear view mirror and enters a sunlitworld similar to 'The Bridges of Madison County'. Frank confoundspessimistic expectations by coaching Henry in baseball skills, doingvarious household odd-jobs, servicing the car and baking peach pies.Before too long he's also healing Adele's aching loneliness with hispeachy massage techniques. Fine performances from the three lead actorshold the film together, but can't prevent the story's drift intosentimentality and implausibility. The epilogue stretches any remainingcredulity beyond belief as it panders to the feel-good requirements ofa rich box-office harvest.

    5. Arit
      02 Feb 2014, 6:00 am

      For a relatively young filmmaker, Jason Reitman is a keen observer anda skilled storyteller. In "Thank You for Smoking" and "Up in the Air"he has offered unique and insightful views into the business world, andin his latest "Labor Day" he continues to intrigue us with a differentsubject, a fragmented family that yearns to become full again.

      Kate Winslet, Gattlin Griffith, and Josh Brolin bring palpablechemistry as a tired single mother, her whole-world adolescent son, anda ragged man who walks into their life by chance. The somewhatcontrived setup is compensated with an intimate observation of thesevery different characters, as they learn to appreciate and show usprecisely what they can do to complement each other. Like other Reitmanfilms, this one has signs of wisdom embedded here and there. There maybe a simple quote that comes to greater significance in a later scene,or a plot device that may start making sense when the film is about tofinish.

      The ending is rather rushed and roughly executed with the older versionof Winslet looking eerily lively and the brief appearance of TobeyMaguire that feels superfluous. Still, the meticulous and sensualnarrative of the film is so inspirational that, when the film is over,you will find your senses heightened in more ways than one.

    6. ligonlaw from San Francisco, California
      02 Feb 2014, 6:00 am

      "Labor Day" is one of the films that the Academy misses every year.Each year there are better films that are sidelined by lesser filmsthat make the best picture list. "Labor Day" is one of errors made bythe academy voters for 2013. There are four films on the Best Picturelist I would scratch and replace with this one.

      The story takes place over a long Labor Day weekend. Kate Winslet playsAdele. a troubled, divorced mother who is probably clinicallydepressed. She lives with her son Henry, played by Dylan Minnette at16, and Toby McGuire as a young man.

      Henry is the narrator of the story as his older self, Toby McGuire. Thecutting edge of this drama is played by Josh Brolin, who is an escapedprisoner serving a sentence for murder. Brolin's Frank creates a largemixed bag of emotions. He is scary, dangerous, kind, romantic, tender,calm, thoughtful, desperate and talented. In the beginning, Frank takesthe family hostage, but Henry and Adele fall in love with their captor.He is a man's man. He repairs things around the house. He knows how torepair the car, wash and wax the floors, and replace lights. And he cancook.

      He ties Adele up. Then he feeds her tenderly a dish he has prepared forher which is delicious.

      He teaches Henry how to throw a baseball and how to swing a baseballbat. The role of Frank is a great role for an actor, and Brolin isperfect in it. This was an Oscar-worthy performance that the academymissed.

      There is no sex on screen but the film bakes in the heat of pent-upsexuality. Adele and Frank are on fire for each other, and there is aodd and funny connection between Henry and a young girl.

      Even though the academy missed it, you should not. It is one of thebest films for 2013.

    7. Sergeant_Tibbs from Suffolk, England
      02 Feb 2014, 6:00 am

      I loved the Labor Day script. I read it a few months ago and while Ihad doubts about the concept and Jason Reitman at first, it ended upwinning me over within pages. Maybe it's because it was written withsuch wit and tenderness, but it's a human story that truly flows withthe emotion delivering the images and intimacy required to express itsideas, dancing just above sentimentality. Although its story is slight,it was satisfying and very rich, taking a situation I'm surprised ithasn't been explored in a more popular film and hitting major themes offamily structures and cycles of life. It truly disappoints me to hearthat people are not only disliking it, but hating it. It feels likeit's being approached from the worst perspective, bracing themselves tocringe. I'm not exactly a Reitman fan either. I think Juno is terribleand it took a rewatch to fall in love with Up In The Air after thinkingit was mediocre the first time.

      While Labor Day may be far from Reitman's regular tone, in execution itinstead highlights his style of energetic and creative cinematographyand editing. Like the effect of the script, you can feel the heat andtaste the food. Surprisingly, as it's a particularly challenging rolegiven that these types of performances usually struggle, our kidprotagonist Gattlin Griffith holds his own among the cast. Kate Winsletis reliably great. These characters seem to be her comfort zone andshe's certainly perfected her craft, but we don't often enter herheadspace. However, the real standout is Josh Brolin. His performanceis the epitome of less-is-more and sells his complex characterperfectly. Sinister and cold, yet deep and sensual. The idea that he'sdoing all the mundane things he hasn't been able to do in decadesbrings simple delights. It's the measured moments where he cracks thatshow the breadth of his performance as he breaks down the stereotype ofa convict.

      Unfortunately, some characters don't work very well, such as kid actorsBarry and Eleanor who don't have the conviction to make their sceneswork. The flashbacks to Frank's past don't have the same effect as thescript despite the eerily similar looking young actor, as they're moreconfusing than clarifying. Contrary to common complaint, this is notlike a lifetime movie. I happened to have watched some recently andthey're more concerned with twists and insanity, instead Labor Day iscloser to a 1950s domestic melodrama. Think more Far From Heaven thananything. I have a little bias as to how much I like this film, but Iwalked into the script blind too. Though it need not have had theorchestra swell during the on-the-nose summary lines about what thefilm's events mean to the characters, Labor Day's emotional punch oftwo souls bonded by tragic pasts still breaks my heart. I'm just gladTobey Maguire helped rather than hurt.

      8/10

    8. gioprete79 from UK
      02 Feb 2014, 6:00 am

      I haven't got to say a lot about this upcoming motion picture butpraise Kate Winslets dynamic intimate and breath takingperformance.Kate once again gives it all on the big screen. And onething I am telling you for sure, she is going for an Oscar. Since wesaw Kate winning that golden statue back in 2009 for her performance inthe historic ''The Reader'', Kate has been a bit distant from thescreen. Apart from her minor movie roles in ''Contagion'' and ''Movie43'' and of course the successful ''Carnage'', Kate hadn't had a bigemotional performance like that for years. The English Rose once againleaves us with tears on our eyes with her performance. She proves usthrough the film that she for sure deserves the title of one of thegreatest actresses of all times. Apart from Winslet's praised andacclaimed performance the film is generally very good and it will makeyou tear a bit that's a fact! However, the screenplay is a bit dull forthis film and the rhythm of the whole motion picture a bit slow. I wontbe surprised if the film receives mixed reviews from critics.

    9. blanche-2 from United States
      02 Feb 2014, 6:00 am

      Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin star in "Labor Day," a 2013 film directedby Jason Reitman and also starring Gattlin Griffith and Toby McGuire.

      Winslet plays Adele, a divorced woman who has never really recoveredfrom being alone; her husband has remarried, and she lives in aramshackle house whose interior speaks of her depression. It's a mess,with stuff all over the place. She lives there were her little boyHenry (Griffith). One day, while they're out shopping, Henry meetsFrank (Josh Brolin) who asks for a ride. When Henry tells his motherthey're giving him a ride, she politely refuses. Frank insists, andsits in the back with Henry. When Adele asks him where he wants to go,he says, "your house." Frank is an escaped convict, and everyone islooking for him. So it doesn't look like they abetted him, he tiesAdele and Henry up, planning to leave that evening.

      This movie is a great example of how a totally predictable story wherenot much happens can still be a wonderful film and a work of art – infact, more of a work of art because it is so predictable and yetmanages to hold interest. It's the story of family, of hope, and oflove. Both Winslet and Brolin act with incredible sensitivity, andGriffith is adorable as Henry, a good kid who sees his mother'sunhappiness and doesn't know how to help her.

      It's a sentimental film, but I didn't mind (well, I wouldn't anyway,but I think even people who don't like sentimentalism won't mind it). Ifound it totally satisfying and romantic, and wasn't at all surprisedto hear it's opening on Christmas Day. There is room for all types offilms – this is not a huge blockbuster, just a sweet story that fits inwell with the spirit of the holidays.

    10. John DeSando (jdesando@columbus.rr.com) from Columbus, Ohio
      02 Feb 2014, 6:00 am

      "I'm a lot stronger than you think." "I don't doubt that." Adele andFrank.

      Director Jason Reitman is no stranger to unusual family stories (Juno)or character drama (Up in the Air), so his enjoyable Labor Day is a bitof both without the humor. Because this is January, a dead-zone timefor releases, it's even more impressive as an audience-pleasing dramaabout an escaped convict Frank (Josh Brolin) and a mother he kidnaps,Adele (Kate Winslet), along with her 7th grade son, Henry (GattlinGriffith).

      Let's get the formula out now: she falls in love with her captor andthe son willingly learns about life and baseball. The real life,however, is hounding them as the law closes in on their 5 days of"family" bliss. However, the authorities are too slow to stop the bestfamily pie making scene ever, domestic stuff just one of charmingmurderer Frank's gifts and a Reitman specialty.

      Recently Mud is similarly about the coming of age and criminal motifand Revolutionary Road with Winslet about a disintegrating family. YetReitman and novelist Joyce Maynard have crafted a story that slowlymakes believable the growing love between captive and captor, arelationship helped by the classy acting chops of Winslet and Brolin.Although everyone knows helping an escaped criminal leads to seriousjail time, this case actually cuts Adele a great deal of slack in theguilty category. As Reitman slowly reveals their mutually grimbackgrounds, we are aware that her needs for the touch of a lover areso acute that even this gamble could be worth the risk.

      Although Labor Day comes close to Nicholas Sparks' sentimentalclaptrap, Reitman preserves everyone's dignity, let's love grow, andushers a kid into a complicated world of love and danger—a labor oflove, so to speak, on the film's titular weekend, typically Americanand hard work: "I sensed my inadequacy," says the adult Henry in voiceover. In matters of the heart, we're all inadequate and need films likeLabor Day to help us move on.

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