Labor Day | Chicago Reader

Labor Day

Rated PG-13 111 minutes 2014

Calling something a melodrama is a sneaky way of excusing its implausibilities on behalf of its juicy performances, which in this case I'm more than willing to do. Adapted from a novel by Joyce Maynard, this romance strains credulity from the outset with its tale of an escaped convict (Josh Brolin) ingratiating himself with a lonely divorcee (Kate Winslet) and her unhappy son (Gattlin Griffith) over a long Labor Day weekend. But even as a bodice-ripping fantasy it's pretty compelling: Winslet knows how to play hunger, Brolin is handsome and sincere, and writer-director Jason Reitman (Up in the Air) shows a none-too-common restraint in never showing the characters in bed. There are some nice character turns as well, from Clark Gregg, J.K. Simmons, James Van Der Beek, and Brooke Smith.

Film Credits

Director: Jason Reitman

Producer: Lianne Halfon, Russell Smith, Jason Reitman, Helen Estabrook, Steven Rales, Mark Roybal, Michael Beugg and Jeffrey Clifford

Cast: Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, Gattlin Griffith, Tobey Maguire, Clark Gregg, Tom Lipinski, Maika Monroe, J.K. Simmons, James Van Der Beek, Brooke Smith, Dylan Minnette, Brighid Fleming, Alexie Gilmore, Lucas Hedges and Micah Fowler


Labor Day

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