Review: 'Labor Day' is slow story lacking tension
Welcome back to the summer of 1987. Kate Winslet drops her English accent to play Adele, the agoraphobic mother of Henry, the young boy who narrates our story.
Henry does everything for his mother since his dad ran off and his mother doesn't leave the house much.
The one time she does take Henry out to get some new clothes, they encounter Frank, Josh Brolin. He's a desperate man who's just escaped from prison.
Surprisingly, instead of holding them hostage, he takes care of them, making dinner, fixing things around the house, teaching Henry to play baseball. He's filling the holes they both have in their lives; lack of husband, lack of involved father figure.
So is he really the "killer escaped convict" police are looking for? We get his true story through flashbacks.
Writer/director Jason Reitman, who's given us "Up in the Air" and "Juno" takes "Labor Day" from the novel of the same name, and I felt like something was lost in the translation.
I will say there is a whole lot of sensuality, especially during the soon to be infamous "pie-making scene." The other compliment I will give the filmmakers is on their attention to detail. Nothing got by them when it came to set decoration, clothing, cars, etc. We ARE back in 1987, and it's awesome!
The trouble is the movie is slow, dragging like the summer weekend it's titled after. There's no big fiery ending, no major tension. It also takes a while to discern that those aforementioned flashbacks are supporting Brolin's character, and NOT Winslet's. Still this fictional "slice of life" movie has a few moments.
My suggestion, wait for the rental on "Labor Day," It's rated "PG-13."
You can read more of Mary's reviews on her website.