Labor Day, A Review

After seeing the trailers, I didn’t know how to feel about the movie. I knew I wanted to see it, because Kate Winslet’s character falling in love with an escaped prisoner, Josh Brolin, was too interesting to pass up. But that’s what also held me back: what could he have done, to end up in prison, so that Winslet’s character would still love him after the fact?

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The movie’s plot was sweeter than I was expecting. I mean, there was a certain amount of danger and edge, that’s necessary in any movie dealing with an escaped convict, but then the balance, of trying to turn that edge into a romantic movie, the balance was there. That’s a fine line to walk, and the movie did it well. Almost too well though.

(Minor spoiler alert ahead. Skip this paragraph, if you want to be surprised.)

The ending was sweet, romantic, almost too perfect, but I am not sure it could have ended any other way, without being a complete downer of a movie. But it felt too easy. The anguish Winslet’s and Brolin’s characters felt for the eternity of the movie disappeared in the last sequence too easily. What I mean is that the resolve was too quick, too comfortable. The wait from the climax to the resolution should have been a bit more painful. Perhaps, that’s the point, that the Labor Day weekend the two had together was enough to sustain for the time between the climax and the resolution, but I am still not convinced. Another two minute sequence could have conveyed how they really dealt with their time spent apart.

Regardless, I recommend seeing the movie, as a way of escaping this frigid winter weather, to remember what the heat of summer feels like. Winslet is stunningly breathtaking, and Brolin executes the fine line between gruff and endearing. The young boy, played by Gattlin Griffin, acts as the glue to an otherwise dysfunctional family, and Griffin pulls you into the tale, and helps to keep you there. Absolutely a movie worth seeing, this Valentine’s Day weekend.

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