Saturday, 15 March 2014

Labor Day Movie Review

Tons of fun with your kidnapper.

I was invited along to the press screening of Labor Day last Friday, from what I knew about the filmed it starred an unusual cast which was lead by Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet. Among the cast was J.K Simmons, Clark Gregg and James Van Der Beek!? All the while this movie was narrated by ex Spider-Man Tobey Maguire. Labor Day has the premise of a Saturday Night Live sketch and I could not get past that. If you're still interesting read on Agents.


Our movie follows Henry, a boy who's mother Adelle has entered into a depression due to her husband leaving her for another woman. As Henry states it she gave up on love and becomes a nervous wreck, not being able to leave the house except for once a month when Henry and herself head to the local grocery store to restock on food, essentials etc. On the latest occasion Henry wanders around checking out comics and vogue when he bumps into Frank, a man on the run who kidnaps Henry and Adelle and holds them captive in their own home which is kind of ironic since they both are already prisoners due to the mother's crippling depression. Labor Day then goes on with the two leads as they learn to love each other. He learns to care for someone again and she learns to be a somewhat competent human being. I'm serious the characterisation in this movie is terrible, especially with Adelle.


What I had to keep reminding myself of was that Frank had kidnapped them, every now and then someone comes over just to remind the audience that he is a bad man then they leave and he becomes the ultimate domestic God that every woman fantasizes about.This movie feels like one of those Daniel Steele novels, a female character who can't do anything for herself gets kidnapped by a strong man who then falls in love with her and becomes a better person for her. What made this uncomfortable was the fact that a child is involved. There is a scene, I shit you not where Henry is listening in on Adelle and Frank having sex and it is super creepy. I suppose that is the main element here, a lot of this film is super creepy.


Only one or two of the characters are in anyway convincing as actual human beings. Clark Gregg and Josh Brolin give great performances, Clark coming off as a father who is just trying to do his best and Brolin's Frank is charming and broken and as you learn about him you actually begin to care unfortunately this is all bogged down with some of the most awkward acting I've seen in a long time. In Labor Day there are some interesting and moving scenes but they could have been more interesting movies by themselves than part of Labor Day. As well as that the confusing and frustrating ending which just infuriates me to no end. This movie insults women, men and small children with cliche upon cliche. Then there is that odd scene where Brolin bakes a pie with Winslet, weird.


Rating:1.5/5


Two great actors do not make a great film.