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I attended the premiere of Labor Day at the Toronto International Film
Festival. Most people walked in expecting a Juno/Up in the Air style
comedy and if that's what you expect you'll be mildly surprised. The
film is darker that Reitman's usual works though you still recognize
the director's touch.
The movie tells the story of Adele (Kate Winslet), a woman who slowly shut herself off from the world, relying heavily on her young son Henry (Gattlin Griffith), whose father abandoned them to another wife and other children. Enters a menacing escaped convict (Josh Brolin) who finds refuge with Adele and her son as he tries to remain hidden from the police.
The summary will have you believe that 'the mother and son gradually learn his true story as their options become increasingly limited.' or that the family realizes they're now prisoners in their own home which makes it sound like the movie is going to be some sort of Panic Room 2 but the story is nothing like that. As Adele and her son get to know the prisoner, they both find the family they've been longing for.
It's a beautiful story despite being somewhat implausible but I found what mattered wasn't the story we see, so much as witnessing the characters finally having a shot at happiness and how the remainder of their days is shaped by this weekend they spent together. This film isn't driven by dialogue as much as Reitman's other films were. The director has said in interviews that he found it challenging to do a movie where there was little dialogue (he actually said without music or dialogue and I walked in half expecting to see a silent film.) He worked around it by having Tobey Maguire narrate the film as an older Henry. The narration works though I think the film could have done without it as well. Don't let the whole 'silent' thing keep you from seeing this film, I found there was enough dialogue, and there is music as well though unlike Juno it doesn't play as a whole hipster soundtrack.
The movie is more subtle yet more raw, slower than his usual films and it lets the actors take us through every emotion. Kate Winslet is a terrific actress and she gave a beautiful performance as Adele, very convincingly portraying a woman who's given up on living. Josh Brolin was great as well, giving us both a tough convict and a soft hearted man at times. Gattlin Griffith was great at a kid who grew up faster than he should. I'm always very iffy when it comes to child actors but he pulled it off very well.
In conclusion, Labor Day is a different, more adult and more mature film from Jason Reitman. It's a nice transitions from his previous comedies and goes a bit deeper than his other films, bringing tension, tears and some laughs. Whether you're already a Reitman fan or not, I recommend this film, you'll be pleasantly surprised.
The movie Labor Day stars Kate Winslet, Gattlin Griffith, and Josh
Brolin. When I saw this film yesterday, I was lucky enough to have the
director, Jason Reitman, get up on stage and introduce the movie. He
made it clear that this film was not a comedy, but a romantic drama
that he made with tons of passion. For what it is, I think the film is
amazing. I will warn you, this is a film was made for women, but guys
can appreciate it too.
So this movie was fun to watch. There was a lot of tension, and the actors did a good job of making even the unbelievable situations seem natural. There was a mystery that unfolded over the course of the movie, and the film was able to create real emotion and genuine shock from the audience. There is also great cinematography, nice subplots, and a final quarter that keeps you guessing. I'm not exaggerating any of 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 of disbelief, but it doesn't require more suspension of disbelief than any of the big blockbuster movies. It could also get cheesy and a little uncomfortable to watch at times, but it is still a great movie. i hope Jason Reitman continues to make great movies, as he has not made a single misstep in his career yet.
This is a good movie to take a girl to on a date, and I'm sure you both could enjoy it. It is a little like a Nicolas Sparks book except with Oscar level acting, directing, cinematography, and screen writing, so if that sounds like your kind of thing, I highly recommend this movie, and reward it with an 8.7/10 stars.
For a relatively young filmmaker, Jason Reitman is a keen observer and
a skilled storyteller. In "Thank You for Smoking" and "Up in the Air"
he has offered unique and insightful views into the business world, and
in his latest "Labor Day" he continues to intrigue us with a different
subject, a fragmented family that yearns to become full again.
Kate Winslet, Gattlin Griffith, and Josh Brolin bring palpable chemistry as a tired single mother, her whole-world adolescent son, and a ragged man who walks into their life by chance. The somewhat contrived setup is compensated with an intimate observation of these very different characters, as they learn to appreciate and show us precisely what they can do to complement each other. Like other Reitman films, this one has signs of wisdom embedded here and there. There may be 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 to finish.
The ending is rather rushed and roughly executed with the older version of Winslet looking eerily lively and the brief appearance of Tobey Maguire that feels superfluous. Still, the meticulous and sensual narrative of the film is so inspirational that, when the film is over, you will find your senses heightened in more ways than one.
'Labor Day' begins in a broken and depressed American household. After
his parents' divorce, a sensitive seventh-grader called Henry chooses
to stay with his mother, Adele, rather than join his father's new
family - and subsequently becomes trapped in a dysfunctional
relationship as a child parenting a traumatized adult. Their sad life
continues until the pair embark on a fateful shopping trip prior to a
long holiday weekend. They are accosted in a discount store by a
threatening stranger, Frank, who demands they give him a ride in their
car. He accompanies them to their dilapidated rural home, where they
learn he's a dangerous escaped convict - and by the next morning a
police dragnet has surrounded the area, making his departure
After this disturbing first act, the film soon leaves 'Desperate Hours/Straw Dogs' territory in the rear view mirror and enters a sunlit world similar to 'The Bridges of Madison County'. Frank confounds pessimistic expectations by doing various household odd-jobs, repairing the car, baking peach pies and coaching Henry in baseball skills. Before too long he is also applying some peachy healing techniques to Adele's loneliness. Fine performances from the three lead actors hold the film together, but can't prevent the story's drift into implausibility. The sentimental epilogue stretches any remaining credulity beyond belief as it panders to the feel-good requirements of a rich box-office harvest.
Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin star in "Labor Day," a 2013 film directed
by Jason Reitman and also starring Gattlin Griffith and Toby McGuire.
Winslet plays Adele, a divorced woman who has never really recovered from being alone; her husband has remarried, and she lives in a ramshackle house whose interior speaks of her depression. It's a mess, with stuff all over the place. She lives there were her little boy Henry (Griffith). One day, while they're out shopping, Henry meets Frank (Josh Brolin) who asks for a ride. When Henry tells his mother they're giving him a ride, she politely refuses. Frank insists, and sits 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 is looking for him. So it doesn't look like they abetted him, he ties Adele and Henry up, planning to leave that evening.
This movie is a great example of how a totally predictable story where not much happens can still be a wonderful film and a work of art - in fact, more of a work of art because it is so predictable and yet manages to hold interest. It's the story of family, of hope, and of love. Both Winslet and Brolin act with incredible sensitivity, and Griffith is adorable as Henry, a good kid who sees his mother's unhappiness 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). I found it totally satisfying and romantic, and wasn't at all surprised to hear it's opening on Christmas Day. There is room for all types of films - this is not a huge blockbuster, just a sweet story that fits in well with the spirit of the holidays.
Labor Day is an unbelievably gorgeous mood piece, a finely-tuned film
which 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'm not sure where he matured from a 'good' director of a quirky script to an 'art' director who can carry an entire film on his shoulders. That's not to say everyone else in this film didn't do a great job. But the film works because of Reitman's meticulous vision.
Heavy use of cross-fades, editing driven by emotional undercurrent over logic, and some stream-of-consciousness flowing from a mysterious source. The music is avant-garde and beautiful, one moment eerie and unsettling, the next pleasant and lilting. Which reflects the way the film, like a piece of classical music, displays sudden shifts of mood or tonality, back and forth, requiring your utmost concentration and appreciation.
Writing too much else would spoil the fun. But the mindset you should bring this film, should you want to see it, is to give yourself over to the experience, rather than bringing an overly (and unnecessarily) critical mind to it's 'unoriginal' or 'uneventful' plot.
I haven't got to say a lot about this upcoming motion picture but praise Kate Winslets dynamic intimate and breath taking performance.Kate once again gives it all on the big screen. And one thing I am telling you for sure, she is going for an Oscar. Since we saw Kate winning that golden statue back in 2009 for her performance in the historic ''The Reader'', Kate has been a bit distant from the screen. Apart from her minor movie roles in ''Contagion'' and ''Movie 43'' and of course the successful ''Carnage'', Kate hadn't had a big emotional performance like that for years. The English Rose once again leaves us with tears on our eyes with her performance. She proves us through the film that she for sure deserves the title of one of the greatest actresses of all times. Apart from Winslet's praised and acclaimed performance the film is generally very good and it will make you tear a bit that's a fact! However, the screenplay is a bit dull for this film and the rhythm of the whole motion picture a bit slow. I wont be surprised if the film receives mixed reviews from critics.
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