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.
A depressed mother's husband has left her for she could not bear a second child. Living alone with her only son, she has an unlikely meeting with an injured escaped convict, and reluctantly takes him into her own care. The man proves to be better than his criminal image as the three bond over Labor Day weekend. The only problem? Everyone in town is looking for him.
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I don't think losing my father broke my mother's heart, but rather losing love itself.
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A deeply touching testament to true love and the unexpected ways we find it
"Labor Day" is a deeply touching testament to true love and the unexpected ways we can find it. Adele, played by Kate Winslet, is a single mom struggling with severe depression and her son Henry has to take care of himself and his mother since she has difficulties leaving the house. One day, on a trip to the supermarket, Henry and Adele's lives change forever when they meet a man named Frank who is on the run from the law. Intimidated by the stranger, Adele agrees to help the man despite the fact that he is a wanted fugitive. Over the course of the next four days, Adele and Frank fall deeply in love, something that the two of them never thought they would experience again. However, things get complicated as the man-hunt continues and they realize that they don't have many options left.
I am absolutely in love with this film. It is so powerful and takes a new look at love and the second chances people can have. "Labor Day" is so incredible - every aspect of the movie mixes together perfectly to create a work of art. The visuals are incredible because the scenes are all relatively simple, but each shot is so sensory oriented that it allows the audience to experience what it was like for the character. The locations, costumes and set design are so authentic, and the soundtrack is very fitting for the film and it all comes together to create the perfect the perfect experience.
The acting in this film is phenomenal. There are very few characters and minimal dialogue, so everything is conveyed primarily through simple facial expression and the amazing film work. Kate Winslet does a superb job in this role and is able to communicate more emotions with her technique of subtle expressions than words ever could. Josh Brolin portrayal of Frank is absolutely perfect. He's able to break down the stereotypes placed on his character in the beginning of the film and shows that there is always more to the story than what is on the surface. I also think Gattlin Griffith, who plays Adele's son Henry, shows his characters struggle of having to be the "man" of the house in a very powerful way. You get the sense that he is terrified about what could happen to his family - his mother and himself - once Frank enters the picture, but he still tries to be strong. I love watching his character develop as Henry realizes that Frank might just be the best thing to ever happen to him and his mother. There are so many moments in the film where it seems as if something is going to go terribly wrong for the couple and the suspense of waiting to see what will play out adds an unexpected element of fear to the film. Kate, Josh and Gattlin are fantastic at giving the sense of not knowing what will happen to them in the near future and it really raises the stakes for the family.
Something else that I love about this film is how throughout the movie there are short flashbacks of the past and it is done in such a way that it is hard to tell whose past it is. I think this is neat because it shows that Adele and Frank are more alike than it seems and it is a miracle that they found each other. "Labor Day" is so touching that by the end of the film I was crying harder than I have at a movie in a really long time. It was so incredibly beautiful to see how love can endure no matter what trials surface and no matter how long people are apart. I'd like to believe that everyone can find a love like that and this movie shows that no matter how hurt you have been, there is always another chance for love.
I recommend this movie for ages 13 to 18 because it is very emotional and a bit mature so it may be challenging for younger kids to understand the storyline fully. Overall I give "Labor Day" 5 out of 5 stars because it made me laugh, cry, and it tugged on my heart strings.
Reviewed by Raven D., KIDS FIRST Film Critic. For more youth reviews go to kidsfirst dot org.
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