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Labor Day (2013)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 31 January 2014 (USA)
Trailer
2:34 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Jason Reitman

Writers:

Jason Reitman (screenplay), Joyce Maynard (based on the novel by)
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Popularity
4,622 ( 251)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kate Winslet ... Adele
Josh Brolin ... Frank
Gattlin Griffith ... Henry
Tobey Maguire ... Adult Henry
Tom Lipinski ... Young Frank
Maika Monroe ... Mandy
Clark Gregg ... Gerald
James Van Der Beek ... Officer Treadwell
J.K. Simmons ... Mr. Jervis
Brooke Smith ... Evelyn
Brighid Fleming ... Eleanor
Alexie Gilmore ... Marjorie
Lucas Hedges ... Richard
Micah Fowler ... Barry
Chandra Thomas ... Bank Teller
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Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic material, brief violence and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 January 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Aires de esperanza See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,175,282, 2 February 2014

Gross USA:

$13,371,528

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$20,275,812
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jason Reitman prepared his cast and crew by screening them films he considered relevant to the project. These included Stand by Me (1986), Running on Empty (1988), The Tree of Life (2011), The Night of the Hunter (1955) and Body Heat (1981). See more »

Goofs

The Panasonic VHS VCR on the top of the TV did not exist in 1987 - it has a center deck style that was common in the late 1990s (e.g. it looks similar to Panasonic's PV-V4020 model that was made in 1999). VCRs of the time had a deck on the left-hand side and display on the right. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Adult Henry: It was just the two of us after my father left. She said I should count the baby he had with his new wife Marjorie as part of my family too. Plus Richard, Marjorie's son. For the most part my mother never mentioned my father, or the woman he was married to now.
See more »

Connections

References D.A.R.Y.L. (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

True News Bump
Written by Galen Shostac
Performed by Galen Shostac
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User Reviews

Surprisingly entertaining for this time of movie year.
30 January 2014 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

"I'm a lot stronger than you think." "I don't doubt that." Adele and Frank.

Director Jason Reitman is no stranger to unusual family stories (Juno) or character drama (Up in the Air), so his enjoyable Labor Day is a bit of both without the humor. Because this is January, a dead-zone time for releases, it's even more impressive as an audience-pleasing drama about an escaped convict Frank (Josh Brolin) and a mother he kidnaps, Adele (Kate Winslet), along with her 7th grade son, Henry (Gattlin Griffith).

Let's get the formula out now: she falls in love with her captor and the son willingly learns about life and baseball. The real life, however, is hounding them as the law closes in on their 5 days of "family" bliss. However, the authorities are too slow to stop the best family pie making scene ever, domestic stuff just one of charming murderer Frank's gifts and a Reitman specialty.

Recently Mud is similarly about the coming of age and criminal motif and Revolutionary Road with Winslet about a disintegrating family. Yet Reitman and novelist Joyce Maynard have crafted a story that slowly makes believable the growing love between captive and captor, a relationship helped by the classy acting chops of Winslet and Brolin. Although everyone knows helping an escaped criminal leads to serious jail time, this case actually cuts Adele a great deal of slack in the guilty category. As Reitman slowly reveals their mutually grim backgrounds, we are aware that her needs for the touch of a lover are so acute that even this gamble could be worth the risk.

Although Labor Day comes close to Nicholas Sparks' sentimental claptrap, Reitman preserves everyone's dignity, lets love grow, and ushers a kid into a complicated world of love and danger—a labor of love, so to speak, on the film's titular weekend, typically American and hard work: "I sensed my inadequacy," says the adult Henry in voice over. In matters of the heart, we're all inadequate and need films like Labor Day to help us move on.


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