Labor Day

Film, Drama
3 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(5user reviews)
Labor Day

Here’s an idea for Her Majesty’s Prison Service to raise a few pennies: a rent-a-convict scheme. It works wonders for Kate Winslet in ‘Labor Day’. She plays depressed single-mum Adele, who takes in an escaped prisoner, Frank (Josh Brolin), over the Labor Day holiday weekend. He turns out to be a dream houseguest, making himself useful around the house, fixing creaky doors, cleaning out the guttering, and versing her 13-year-old son Henry (Gattlin Griffith) in the ways of manhood. And he bakes a pie – a sticky sensual scene that rises into an emotional peak like the peaches piled in the cake tin. It could do more for sales of flour than the ‘Great British Bake Off’.

If you have even the tiniest cynical bone in your body, avoid. You’ll find ‘Labor Day’ more sugary than a cronut. Based on a 2009 novel by Joyce Maynard, it’s a shift in gear for director Jason Reitman, whose back-catalogue is filled with sarky-sweet comedies like ‘Juno’. What keeps this out of Nicholas Sparks bumper-paperback territory are terrific performances and Reitman’s control of the drama. The early scenes are nailbiting. ‘This needs to happen,’ Frank menaces, wrapping his big hand around little Henry’s neck as he forces himself into their home. For 20 minutes you don’t know if he’s going to murder Adele and Henry in their beds or scramble them some eggs.

If any other actress was playing Adele it would be the performance of a life. But this is Kate Winslet, who can pull off Oscar-grade without breaking sweat. Possibly ‘Labor Day’ is not strong enough to send another Oscar nomination her way, but she is ‘Revolutionary Road’-brilliant – once again, somehow, making an epic the story of an ordinary woman. And Josh Brolin furrow his brows with manly determination.


Release details

Release date:
Friday March 21 2014
111 mins

Cast and crew

Jason Reitman
Jason Reitman
Josh Brolin
Kate Winslet
Tobey Maguire
Gattlin Griffith

Average User Rating

3.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
1 person listening

This film popped up on Netflicks and as I'd never heard of it, I was not going to bother, except that I saw Kate Winslet stars. Given that she rarely makes a bad film I figured it was worth a watch. It really was.

Even though the story is a little far fetched and some of the scenes more than cheesy it works and the three main actors make it sizzle. The tension is there throughout and even though you kind of realise that it's slightly disturbing to fall for your kidnapper, you start to understand why and even fall for him a little bit yourself. After all what woman wouldn't be impressed by a man who changes your tyres, cleans the gutters and then bakes you a pie?

A gentle, sweet and superbly acted film that has you rooting for the characters.

I must admit, the film did not appeal so much from the look of it at first... but, to my surprise, it developed beautifully and got more intense as the time went by.

Sure, there were moments of cheesy scenes such as peach baking, but nevertheless, the film shares a different perspective of how one can or should look at a so-called criminal- there is often more to a story we hear.

Gentle, sunny romantic drama told at a lovely leisurely pace. Three and a half stars. Recommended.

I love Katy Winslet :) I would like to see her new movie :) she is number 1 actress :)

I love Katy Winslet :) I would like to see her new movie :) she is number 1 actress :)