Pssst, want to check out Labor Day in our new look?
- 111 min.
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Labor Day had some pretty horrendous reviews, and that may be down to director Jason Reitman (Thank You for Smoking, Juno, Up in the Air, Young Adult) letting his fans down with a film lacking his usual twisted comedy. I don't know. I quite liked it. In lesser hands, this sentimental melodrama could have been steaming tripe, but Reitman, Winslet, Brolin and (no one ever mentions the kid, so I will) Griffith have a sensitivity that elevates the potentially ludicrous story of an escaped convict laying low with a socially anxious mom and her 12-year-old son over a long weekend and their adopting him as husband/father figure. It's the Stockholm syndrome taken to an emotional extreme, but the characters are all coming from a very real and earnest place. And their choices SHOULD be questionable. Each is motivated by a past trauma that informs their whirlwind "romance" and makes it believable. And yet, you should question that believability too. Much of this is told through the boy's eyes, and his outlook is tainted by his budding hormones and his wish to see his mother find someone. It's perhaps the reason the fugitive's back story is told in fragmented, almost impressionistic flashes; they are not part of the boy's point of view and try to interrupt the flow of his narrative, signal us to a darker truth we may or may not think is relevant. You can watch this one and take its sensual and at times moving romance as given - and embrace or reject it as per your temperament - or you can dare delve under its highly subjective surface at the truth of the emotional context that drives the characters and, ultimately, the film's narrator.
Another great performance by Kate Winslet! Loved it
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