Saturday, March 01, 2014

Labor Day

Today I saw Labor Day, starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin.

Adele (Winslet) is a single mother to Henry (Gattlin Griffith), and has such severe depression, she seldom leaves her home. Only when she has to tend to Henry's needs, does she depart.

Frank (Brolin) is an escaped convict who takes the two hostage and demands a safe haven as the manhunt for him begins. In their sleepy New Hampshire town, there are only so many places he could be (especially since he was injured during the escape), so one does wonder why there are no door-to-door searches.

That aside, I fully admit that I found this film completely satisfying.

Winslet recalls the pain she showed in Revolutionary Road, but plays it more understated this time. She's terrified of her intruder, but also drawn to what appears to be his kindness. Brolin is brooding, yet tender and Griffith is alternately horrified and curious. They all hit the right notes.

The longer Frank stays at the family home, the more useful he becomes. His handyman skills are put to use and for reasons we never learn, he's also an amazing cook/baker. As the film turns from suspense thriller to love story, we go with it. If someone as damaged as Adele really did receive a dangerous criminal in her home, who happened to be handsome and helpful, she may just fall for him. Hell, I would.

While other critics have nit-picked the obvious flaws (Frank is often outside; the townspeople are nosy but never discover him), the oversights didn't bother me here. I enjoyed spending time in this world; watching them drink Yuban coffee, bake peach pies and play vinyls on a record player while life just kept happening.

I'll be happy to watch this again.

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