Labor Day

Labor Day

Running Time: 
1 Hour, 51 Minutes
Paramount Pictures' Labor Day, starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin was not what I was expecting.
From the ads and poster it looked like a chick flick, a Nicholas Sparks-like story. However, I also knew Kate was nominated for a Golden Globe for her portrayal, so I figured there had to be more to it than that and there is. Labor Day is actually an intense coming-of-age story that also talks about depression, divorce, baking, love and murder. Yup, it's quite the mixture. It's also quite suspenseful and I was glued to the unfolding of events and often uncomfortable at the same time.  
Why the name Labor Day? The majority of the film takes place over the space of a Labor Day weekend in 1987 and is told through the eyes of a then 13-year-old boy. The original book, which the film is based on by Joyce Maynard is also of the same name. 
It reminded me of Martin Scorsese's film Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore due to the bond and role reversal between mother and son. I was also annoyed with the Mom's decisions in both films and how they put their son in danger by choosing the wrong men and pursuing their own best interests instead of their child's. 
Kate Winslet does a great job as the depressed divorcee with inner demons, but the real scene stealer is her son played by Gattlin Griffith. Josh Brolin's character meanwhile was too creepy for me and wooden. There are also supporting appearances by Tobey Maguire, Clark Gregg (The Avengers) and James Van Der Beek.
My only complaint is that the ending wrapped up too quickly, leaving unanswered questions. 
Overall, it is an interesting, intelligent and pretty film, but not a feel-good chick flick!  
Tara Settembre
Review by Tara Settembre
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