Director: Jason Reitman
Starring: Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, Gattlin Griffith
Jason Reitman is known to direct and produce very rich and heart gripping films which really sits with you for ages because in some way or form, you relate to them. He hit the nail on the head again in 2013 for Labor Day.
After becoming a single mum because she couldn’t bear a second child, Adele (Winslet) lives in her rural home, depressed, with her 13 year old son Henry (Griffith). Their world is turned upside down when they go to the grocery store and is approached by an injured escaped convict Frank (Brolin). They reluctantly take him into their own care over the Labor Day weekend as everyone in town is looking for him. As the small days pass, Frank proves that his criminal image isn’t what everyone thinks it is which leads Adele and Frank to develop the relationship they’ve been missing their whole lives.
After the very mixed reviews upon release, I thought Labor Day was beautiful. It felt poetic yet awkward and I felt like I knew the characters and wanted more. The story is paced very well and the cast were incredible. Brolin was the perfect fit for Frank. He may look like the rugged, manly type, but then there are the soft eyes, soft spoken words and his ability to bake like a home-maker, the ideal man. The more you learn about Frank, the more you want him to get away, not to mention with Adele.
It’s safe to say that Frank turns up at the right time as Henry is 13, hitting puberty, hormones running around like crazy as he walks past magazines of pretty women and lacks that father figure. This is also shown through his relationship with a girl named Eleanor who has had a rough past with her parents and therefore thinks it happens to everyone. As Henry is naïve and blinded by his early stage of adolescence, Eleanor becomes a small spanner in the works. This part of the story has so much truth behind it and I’m sure it will resonate with a lot of viewers.
Kate Winslet really captured the character of Adele so well and you could feel her uncertainty about Frank but as she starts to let him in, you do too. We are essentially Adele. Even though the story was being told from Henry’s perspective (narrated by Tobey Maguire), we naturally just take on the character of Adele.
It’s a drama but also a touching love story that did get me in the feels. It’s another example of how someone can come into your life for just a split second, no matter the circumstance and leave a massive impression.