Review: Labor Day in February

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Laurianna Cull

Labor Day” is not action packed, comedic or sexual. There are no explosions or heart stopping moments. So, why go and see it?

“Labor Day” is a movie that focuses all of its energy on telling the story rather than distracting its audience with extravagant locations, costumes and special effects; not to say that the movie looks cheaply made.

The movie is quiet, subtle and simply lovely. It is not the typical Hollywood love story. It does not “have you at hello” and the actors do not kiss in the rain.

“Labor Day” tells the story of reclusive single mother, Adele, played by Kate Winslet (“Titanic”) and her encounter with escaped convict, Frank, played by Josh Brolin (“No Country for Old Men”) through the eyes of Adele’s 13-year-old son, Henry (“Gattlin Griffith.”)

As Tobey Maguire narrates the story as the adult version of Henry, the audience is transported back to Labor Day weekend 1987 where Henry and his mother are shopping for new school clothes. They then encounter Frank who is wounded from his escape and asks to be taken to the family’s home.

Once at the house, it becomes clear that Frank is not a dangerous man and Adele and Henry urge him to stay until his wounds heal. As Frank stays over the holiday weekend, he begins to fill the void of husband and father figure and, cheesily enough, heals the emotional wounds of the broken family.

The entire cast, especially Kate Winslet, give very moving performances. The beauty in this movie is definitely in the subtleties ?? which are Winslet’s forte. She does not exclude the minor differences and progression of her character, Adele, the longer she spends with Frank.

The casting in this film was phenomenal, even down to young Frank played by Tom Lipinski who bears a striking resemblance to Josh Brolin.

The only casting that seemed “off” was that of the three actors chosen to play Henry throughout his life. While they all gave great performances, Gattlin Griffith (“Changeling”), Dylan Minnette (“Let Me In”), and Tobey Maguire (“Spider Man”) look absolutely nothing alike.

“Labor Day” can be a bit slow-moving at times and, as mentioned before, there are no action sequences or even much comedy. But if you are in the mood for a genuine love story the closer we approach to Valentine’s Day, this is the film for you.