Yesterday I watched Labor Day (2013), an excellent DVD I got brought down from the United States, thanks to my sister’s husband, along with a few other films.

Labour Day Poster

Let me start off with, Loved it!!!! Even though, not a critically acclaimed movie, I really enjoyed it to the extent of calling it an excellent venture. I’d agree, it’s not the best among Jason Reitman’s works. I have loved all of Reitman’s directorial ventures I have watched so far, i.e. Thank you for Smoking (2005), Juno (2007) and Up in the Air (2009). All superb pieces of satire. Thus Labor Day, is a very different genre from the director of sophisticated comedies.

A very dull paced piece of melodrama, most probably the core reason for the lack of it’s box office success, the movie deals with a depressed mother and son, leading a lonely life, until one day a convict forces his way to their home and ironically brings hope and contentment into their lives.

The best thing about the movie, besides the great director trying out his hand on something out of his comfort zone, is the superb acting talent he’s managed to rope in. The name Kate Winslet itself, on the credits, says it all. The movie should obviously be worth checking out, for her sake at least, if not for anything else. But the rest of the cast is just as excellent as well. Josh Brolin as the convict,  Gattlin Griffith as Winslet’s son, and other supporting cast in minor roles, including Clark Gregg, Alexie Gilmore, Tom Lipinski, Lucas Hedges, Brooke Smith, Micah Fowler, Brighid Fleming, Maika Monroe, James Van Der Beek and Tobey Maguire (who narrates the story and plays the adult version of Winslet’s son, in a minuscule appearance).

Kate Winslet  and Gattlin Griffith in a scene from the movie.

Kate Winslet and Gattlin Griffith in a scene from the movie.

Kate Winslet plays Adele, a woman who after giving birth to Henry (Gattlin Griffith), goes through many a miscarriages and ultimately when she does manage to give birth again, it’s to a stillborn baby girl. Soon her husband, Gerald (Clark Gregg) leaves her for another woman, which she doesn’t blame him for. Yet she falls into a deep depression, and is taken care of by her kind son, Henry. At the same time Adele tries her best to take care of her son too, while fighting depression and her physical decline along with it. Josh Brolin plays the convict, Frank, who finds a place in their home and heart, and falls in love with Adele. We see his past in flashbacks, where we learn, that he killed his immoral wife, and drowned his innocent baby, by accident. What’s really interesting in the movie, is to see the close knit relationships between the mother and son, and between Frank and Adele. Henry is Adele’s reason to be alive, while Frank gives her a reason to live. Being alive, and actually living, are two very different things.

Labor Day is a beautiful love story, which starts off as an intense thriller and then falls into a deeply melodramatic romance between two lonely adult souls, with a coming of age sub plot on young Henry.

Gattlin Griffith, Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet making 'Peach Pie' in LABOR DAY

Gattlin Griffith, Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet making ‘Peach Pie’ in LABOR DAY

A movie really worth checking out.

My verdict 10/10, might be the least best, but among the best none the less.

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

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