Movie: Labor Day
Rating: 3 and 1/2 Stars (out of 5)
Review: It is a warm, lazy Labor Day weekend in New Hampshire in 1987. In a small town, Adele (Kate Winslet) makes her monthly run to the store to get groceries with her 13 year old son, Henry (Gattlin Griffith). This would be a routine trip for most people, but Adele is fighting her phobia of leaving the safety of her home. To complicate her anxiety, she and her son are basically forced to help escaped prisoner Frank (Josh Brolin) by taking him back to their house where he can hide from his pursuers.
There is a full scale manhunt for the escaped man, and Adele soon finds out Frank is a convicted murderer who got away from the prison hospital following surgery for his appendix. Frank does his best to calm Adele and Henry’s fears, claiming there is another side to his conviction. Seeing there has been no man about the house for some time, Frank begins to do needed repairs around the house, and proves to be a pretty fair hand in the kitchen when he whips up a mean pot of chili. A neighbor drops by with a bag of ripe peaches, so Frank enlists the aid of Adele and Henry and gives a master course in how to make a peach pie from scratch (and makes the audience hunger for a piece of that pie).
Frank entered their lives on Thursday, and by Saturday Frank and lonely Adele are ready to acknowledge they are seriously infatuated with each other. Frank is strong, caring, and everything Adele has been missing in her life of solitude. Young impressionable Henry has a ready made father figure who shows him how to properly throw a baseball, and provide other badly needed life lessons. During this very busy and significant Labor Day weekend, Henry meets a girl. All boys remember their first crush, and Mandy (Maika Monroe) gives Henry his first kiss, and he will never forget her.
By Sunday things are going so well that Adele and Frank are ready to plan a life together for them and Henry. But there is still an all points search going on for the fugitive, so Frank and Adele make plans to pack up and go to Canada.
As this story slowly unfolds, there are subtle threads of plot that trigger feelings of regret, loss, discovery of love, hope, redemption, sacrifice and a host of other emotions that will tug at you by the end of the movie. This is a small movie that deserved to do better at the box office. It had a great cast with a story that kept the interest of the audience.
Huh? What the ….: Nothing out of the ordinary here. Everything was true to life.
Actors to Watch: Nice cameos by James Van Der Beek and Tobey Maguire, although Maguire barely gets in the movie for a full minute.
Dialogue Nuggets: Nada
Post Credits Stuff: Nope