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Labor Day

2014-02-14 07:19
What it's about:

13-year-old Henry Wheeler struggles to be the man of the house and care for his reclusive mother, Adele, while confronting all the pangs of adolescence. On a back-to-school shopping trip, Henry and his mother encounter Frank Chambers, a man both intimidating and clearly in need of help, who convinces them to take him into their home, only to later be revealed as an escaped convict. The events of this long Labor Day weekend will shape them for the rest of their lives.

What we thought about it:

This movie is based on the novel by Joyce Maynard. The events that occur over a long Labor Day weekend in 1987 have lasting effects on the lives of three people long after the weekend is over. The cinematography is done so beautifully you can practically taste summer from the screen.  What starts out as a thriller soon turns into something else; this is in essence a romance and a coming of age story filled with shades of grey.

The movie is narrated by Henry, whom we come to know as an adolescent, but it is clear through the narration that this story is told by an older Henry through his insight of life, love and relationships.

Running parallel to the story of Henry (Gatlin Griffith), Adele (Kate Winslet) and Frank (Josh Brolin) is the story of Frank and his girlfriend. Through his flashbacks we come to learn why he is incarcerated. I have to say that I like that it was done this way, he never defends himself, and we never really hear him tell them why he is in jail.

Frank is such a contradiction to  what you expect a convicted murderer to be. As his story unfolds you cannot help but feel sorry for him. Josh Brolin’s depiction of this complex character made me like him.  He is so tender in his approach with Adele and her son.

Kate Winslet has a real knack for depicting forlorn, damaged woman. She brings depth to the character Adele. This is a woman who has experienced life in all its beauty and ugliness.  The relationship that develops between Frank and Adele is not a conventional love story. It is not a pretty story, the lovers here are not young and inexperienced but instead are two lonely people who managed to find each other in the direst of circumstances.  It is a sappy story and I found myself routing for them in the end.

For me the star of the show is Gaitlin Griffith. He portrays adolescence and that whole confusing stage so well. He is still a kid and he’s dealing with grown up issues, he’s trying to be the man of the house. He brings a maturity to the role way beyond his years. This weekend for him is one of self discovery which leads him on the path to becoming the person we see at the end.

This movie won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but if you want to see a different type of love story you will enjoy this.

A romance and a coming of age story filled with shades of grey.
Read more on:    kate winslet  |  josh brolin  |  movies

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