Most people think of Titanic when they hear the name Kate Winslet. Personally i think more of her performance in Little Children. This was one of the best motion pictures of the year 2006, so if you have not seen this one, rent it straight away. Even if it bombed at the box office, the critics praised Little Children, for fantastic performances. One of the most powerful perfomances was Jackie Earle Haley as Ronnie McGorvey, a pedophile who is released from prison. Kate Winslet continued to make strong motion pictures like The Reader and Revolutionary Road, teaming up with Leonardo Di Caprio again since Titanic. Over the following years, Kate have continued releasing new films, in all categories. One thing is for sure, she is not afraid to try new ways, and that is a good sign. Labor Day, is directed by Jason Reitman, who directed so many great motion pictures in the past, like Thank You For Smoking, Juno and Young Adult. We even have legedary actor Josh Brolin on board, who did a wonderful performance in No Country For Old Men. So with great leading actors and a very talented director, is Labor Day another classic by Jason Reitman, or is he stepping out in too deep water ?
It´s 1987. Adele Wheeler ( Kate Winslet ) is a lonely and depressed single mother, living with her 13 year old son, Henry Wheeler ( Gattlin Griffith ). One day, while Adele and Henry are out shopping in a local store, Henry bump into Frank Chambers ( Josh Brolin ), who is injured with blood on his t shirt. Frank needs help, so he confront Adele, to give him a lift. Adele is told to drive home, and Frank is going to go inside their house. It turns out that Frank is a wanted fugitive, and need a place to hide. Adele is afraid that Frank will hurt them both, so she does not try and make the situation worse. The days go by, and since Henry never had a father figure, he is beginning a friendship with Frank. But that´s not all. Adele begin to have feelings for Frank, as they become a couple, even though the situation is complicated. Frank accidently killed his pregnant girlfriend, Mandy (Maika Monroe ) during a fight by pushing her against a radiator. Now on the run from justice, he want to start a new life. Things are about to become more complicated when Henry´s friend Eleanor (Brighid Fleming ), manipulate Henry so he thinks that Adele and Frank are going to abandon him. When a policeman suddenly pass by Adele´s house, and see that they seem to be leaving, he becomes suspicious. Frank need to find a way to get out of this mess, but is there a way out ?
Since i am a big fan of Jason Reitman´s previous motion pictures, i am sorry to say that Labor Day is not in the same level as his previous films. With that being said, this is not a bad film though, there are some quality left to find. Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin is without a doubt what keeps the audience to stay. But from a story perspective, there is not much to be happy about. You see, there is an interesting story here deep within the script, but Jason Reitman does not take it to the next level. I don´t know why Reitman choosed to make this film so easy, with not much depth. Luckily there are some scenes that lift the story, when Josh Brolin understand it would be hard to stay in the house, since he is a wanted fugitive. With a wider psychological perspective, Labor Day could have offered more. Now we only get a sense of that side, when we could have digged deeper into the truth. Labor Day is kind of an disappointement, but still not awful. There are a few details i enjoy, but overall i feel that Jason Reitman could have done so much more with this script, since he is such a talented director. If you want to see Labor Day, see it because of the performances of Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin, apart from that, don´t expect to be surprised. My advice, buy Little Children, and you will see how a fantastic drama film should look like.