Release Date: Friday January 31st, 2014
Run Time: 111 Minutes
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic material, brief violence, and sexuality.
Cast: Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, Gattlin Griffith, Tobey Maguire
For years, Kate Winslet has dazzled fans on the big screen with her incredible talent. Her latest film, “Labor Day”, hit theaters nationwide on Friday. Starring alongside Josh Brolin (“W.”, “No Country For Old Men”) and Gattlin Griffith (“Changling”, “Green Lantern”, “Couples Retreat”), Winslet plays reclusive single mother, Adele, who struggles with her inability to cope with the outside World. Adele and her son Henry (played by Gattlin Griffith) live in a picturesque small town where everyone knows their neighbor. While on a rare trip to the store for supplies, the pair encounter injured escaped convict Frank (Josh Brolin) who pressures them into providing him refuge in their home. Left with no other choice, Adele takes him in over the Labor Day weekend. The remainder of the film follows their story and the events that unfold changing their lives forever.
The portrayal of late 1980’s life in a sleepy town is where this film succeeds. The beautiful imagery, combined with an emotionally charged score, help to elevate this otherwise flat screenplay. The film, which was adapted from a novel, was the second book turned screenplay for author Joyce Maynard. The problem with translating a story from a print novel to the big screen is that it’s hard to capture every detail in the way the author intended. In the spirit of giving the benefit of the doubt, let’s just assume this is the case with “Labor Day”. Overall, the story line is sweet and interesting but it falls short on the screen in that it it’s anticlimactic. Audience members who are expecting a pay off will be sorely disappointed.
On my scale from one to ten where one is the worst, five is the best, and ten is the worst again I give “Labor Day” a 2.6235 with an emoticon based sub ranking of “Well, maybe the book is better?!”