Labor Day

“I typically wouldn’t find myself at a film with such a romantic plot, especially when it hasn’t been getting the most favorable of reviews. But with Jason Reitman at the helm, I could make an exception. Having Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet in the cast certainly didn’t hurt either. Surprisingly, I was able to get rather into the film, but I can also see why it wasn’t too well received.

I think the reason for both of those is that this was ridiculously melodramatic. Usually, I’d be turned off and find the whole thing downright laughable. But for whatever reason, the stars aligned such that I was absorbed right into it. Maybe it was the emotional state I was in. Maybe it was the cast that was far more talented than the film would have otherwise deserved. Maybe it was their directorial guidance. I walked out of there thinking how much I enjoyed it, and then I had to stop and question myself. Really? That much? Movie magic at its best i suppose.

What I love a bout Reitman’s other films (Juno, Thank You For Smoking, Up in the Air, Young Adult) is how quirky they are. The winking humor, the sillyness of the characters, the deadpan delivery of snappy dialog. Labor Day did not embody any of that. I realized while watching it that besides the feel, the other thing Reitman does excel at is characters. All those films I mentioned have such strong memorable characters. So maybe in a David O Russell kinda way, he’s got a knack for making sure his actors connect with their roles.

And this was a pair of incredible actors. Kate Winslet captured Adele’s fragility and vulnerability as well as her secret inner strength. Josh Brolin was tough on the outside, but tender when he allowed himself to be. Lesser actors would have let this film wallow in how overdone the writing was, instead of playing up the character’s desperation and giving them some real weight.

Also worth mentioning that Clark Gregg is in this, as Adele’s ex-husband. Kind of a typical kinda role for him, with a little less innocense than usual. But we love him because he does what he does very well indeed. And young Henry, Gattlin Griffith, sure has a promising career ahead of him after keeping up so well with our distinguished leads.

Probably a movie that will be quickly forgotten, but at least for two hours I was able to forget about everything else

Labor Day – \m/ \m/ \m/

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