Film Review: Labour Day

From experience of other Jason Reitman directed films, I was halfway expecting another circular storyline, whereby the main character goes through some major experience but emerges at the other side only to return to his or her life without any changes.

Of course, the experiences for young Henry, son of Adele (portrayed by Gattlin Griffith and Kate Winslet respectively) one Labour Day weekend, aren't exactly of the norm, i.e. a teenage pregnancy or mid-life crisis.

While out in the Price-Mart store, he is accosted by a man, later identified as escaped convict Frank Chambers (portrayed by Josh Brolin) and notices immediately, as do we, that he's bleeding. Frank subtly makes Henry and his mother go to the car and he gets her to drive them to their house.

The first quarter of the film is quite tense, the score very reminiscent of the one from The Proposition, but as the not very circular storyline develops and progresses, it relaxes a little, only to be upped up a few (thousand) notches during pivotal scenes. Which includes Frank's back story.

Tobey Maguire repeats his The Great Gatsby success as far as narration is concerned, as the older Henry.

This is a brilliantly made film, Mr Brolin and Ms Winslet shine like the high caliber actors that they are.
If nothing else, see this film for them. Together with Mr Griffith they carry this film, there is the supporting cast of Clark Gregg, JK Simmons and Brooke Smith, but for the main, its the single mother, her son and the escapee that garner the most screen time.

It's a deeply emotional film, but definitely worth seeing all the same.


  1. This quote comes from another emotional film, where the importance is focussed on family.
    “Samuel: I didn't kill anyone! I said I didn't kill anyone! I am looking for my granddaughter!
    Lieutenant: Then tell me her damn name!
    Samuel: I don't *know* her damn name!”


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