There's something to be said for actors who are accustomed to portraying characters in bombastic and opulent films. Marque names commonly power through driven and emotional arcs, or find themselves dodging special effects in heavy-duty blockbusters. To take on a flick that is at its core quiet and evocative in its simplicity is something beautiful to behold. Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin are at the center of the love story "Labor Day," based on the novel by Joyce Maynard.
Director Jason Reitman, the same director who charmed movie-goers with "Up In The Air" and "Juno," delivers on this thoroughly human story lived mostly through the eyes of Henry, the young son of distraught divorcee Winslet who is battling depression. The deafening solitude in which they live doesn't escape the people around them in their small town. However, when an escaped convict stumbles into their life, suddenly an otherwise ordinary existence is shaken up.
Frank (Brolin) is a man on the run, and when he sees the vulnerable pair shopping at a local discount store he ventures to ask them for their "help" and proceeds to hold the pair hostage, while he plans his escape. But not everything is exactly what it appears to be. He may hold be holding the two at bay, but it's questionable whether it's against their will, after all -- they are already prisoners of their existence. When the Labor Day holiday weekend prevents Frank from getting too far, he begins to make repairs around the house, cleaning up the gutters, fixing loose floorboards, and even teaching Henry how to throw a baseball.
It isn't long before someone will come knocking at the door and threaten to disturb the safe haven they're providing, but in the meantime a relationship begins to develop over baking pies; the palpable loneliness starts to crumble, but nothing lasts forever. Eventually, the calendar continues its crawl, and inevitably there exists a day after Labor Day. Engagingly narrated and bristly photographed, "Labor Day" opens up so many emotional levels, it benefits from repeat viewing.
Bonus features include detailed examination by the actors and filmmakers on the behind-the-scenes of the movie.
"Labor Day"is available on Blu-ray, DVD and Combo Packs for $29.99