Last night I watched as the depressed single mom Adele and her young son Henry offered a wounded escaped convict a ride. As police searched town for the man, the mother and son gradually learned his true story as their options become increasingly limited as their emotions become conflicted.
It’s a beautiful story despite being somewhat implausible. I found what mattered wasn’t the story we see, so much as witnessing the characters finally having a shot at happiness and how the rest of their lives were shaped by this single weekend spent together.
The movie is quiet, subtle and slower than his other films out right now. The pacing lets the actors take us through every emotion. Kate Winslet is a terrific actress and she gave a beautiful performance as Adele, very convincingly portraying a woman who’s given up on living. Josh Brolin was first-rate as well, giving us both a tough convict and a soft hearted man at times. And Gattlin Griffith was great portraying a kid who grew up faster than he should have. I can be iffy when it comes to child actors but he pulled it off very well.
In conclusion, Labor Day is a different, quiet mature film. It’s a refreshing change from the 30-something comedies being released and gives the viewer a chance to dig a bit deeper into their emotions. Labor Day creates tension, tears and some laughs. I recommend Labor Day as a beautifully sentimental movie driven by emotions rather than plot.