While Labor Day stuck to conventional romantic storylines, it had the pacing of an indie, coming-of-age film rather than your typical romance movie. However, I was hoping it would be a little darker than it actually was.


Labor Day
Directed By: Jason Reitman
Starring: Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, Gattlin Griffith, Clark Gregg, J.K. Simmons, James Vanderbeek, Tobey Maguire.




How I felt about this movie can be explained with 2 Compliment Sandwiches:

The plot of Labor Day is compelling, unfortunately the story didn’t take the risks I hoped it would, the story did however, take the time to develop.
On paper, Labor Day sounds fascinating. An escaped convict takes a mother and her son hostage and the mother and convict end up falling in love. There are so many interesting places this movie could have gone. Unfortunately, it didn’t go there. Instead it stuck to conventional romantic story techniques. I wanted it to be more of a thriller or to at least pump up the tension. Though I appreciated the time and care the movie took in creating the romance between Adele and Frank, it never really clicked. In the back of my mind I was convinced that Frank couldn’t be THIS PERFECT—that something else was going on. I would have loved to see the movie go into an unexpected place.

Labor Day 2

The character of Adele is unforgettable, unfortunately the other characters are not as intriguing as hers, the acting however, is outstanding.
I’ve only seen two other Jason Reitman movies besides this one, and that would be Up In The Air and Juno. And the one thing I can say about him is that he creates great characters, Ellen Page’s Juno, Anna Kendrick’s Natalie Keener, and now Kate Winslet’s Adele. Though Adele was physically weak, she had a lot of inner strength and Winslet had a delicate way of finding that balance between stability and instability. It was a nice touch from Reitman watching Adele find freedom while at the same time revealing through flashbacks what slowly made her become isolated. Unfortunately, escaped convict Frank, and her son Henry were less fleshed out characters. In the beginning, I understood Henry and all that he had been through to care for his mother, but slowly through the movie he became a different character, someone I didn’t understand, or even really like anymore and that was extremely disheartening. Frank, the supposed bad boy was way too perfect, for you know, being an escaped convict. I wish he had a little more darkness in him. His dark past didn’t match up with his present self.

Labor Day isn’t a bad movie, it’s just wasn’t satisfying. Kate Winslet’s performance was wonderful which was enough to hold the movie together, but overall I was left incomplete.

Rating: B-/C+



Random Thoughts:

  • This movie made me hungry.
  • Why didn’t they use J.K. Simmons more?
  • Tobey Maguire? What the heck?
  • Clark Gregg was playing a darker kind of character, but he will always be Coulson to me.



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