Jeri Jacquin, Movie Maven
Jenise Jacquin, Film Brat

Opening in theatres this Friday from director Jason Reitman, Indian Paintbrush and Paramount Pictures comes a story of a LABOR DAY.

This film tells the story of Henry (Gattlin Griffith), a young boy living with his shut-in mother Adele (Kate Winslet). Henry’s father is now remarried and living with his new family and the young boy feels his mother’s pain being there for her.

On a shopping trip he runs into Frank (Josh Brolin), an escaped prisoner who hitches a ride with an anxious Adele and Henry. Returning to their home Frank says he only wants to lay low for a bit and doesn’t intend to hurt them.

It becomes clear to Henry that Frank is a man of his word as the escapee cooks, repairs and helps around the house. A bond forms between the three in the quiet of the house with police driving by constantly. Henry keeps the secret from all but Eleanore (Brighid Fleming) who seems to be a like-minded life soul that he relates to.

What each one wants around them is family and love – no matter what form that may take.

FINAL WORD: Griffith as Henry is endearing with a face that shows the heartache of wanting to make his mother happy. Coming into age isn’t easy for this character and Griffith portrays it with such grace and endearment. It is such a good performance that I do so hope we see this young actor again.

Winslet as Adele manages to portray the nervous-heartbroken-shut-in well. Once the characters story is explained Winslet brings Adele full circle with the hope and belief that her heart isn’t lost – just waiting. This performance is well done but, if I may say, it might be time for this actress to stretch herself a little more and steer away from the ‘wounded bird’ roles.

Fleming as Eleanore is absolutely amazing! Her snappy one-liners and well thought out replies in some cases are not only classic but will be used over and over again. Fleming delivers each line with all the curiosity of a girl her age mixed with the cynicism of a jaded middle-aged woman.

Now, onto Mr. Brolin – are you kidding me? Jenise and I have coined the phrase, “we’ve been Brolin’d” because this role and actor absolutely did us in. As Frank, Brolin delivers a role filled with pain that doesn’t destroy the characters life but instead keeps the belief alive that someday he can start again.

By the end of the film we noticed the woman balling their eyes out and the guys sniffing a bit. I love when an audience just loses it.

Other cast include: Tom Lipinski as Young Frank, Clark Gregg as Gerald, J.K. Simmons as Mr. Jervis, Brooke Smith as Evelyn, Alexie Gilmore as Marjorie, Lucas Hedges as Richard, Micah Fowler as Barry, James Van Der Beek as Officer Treadwell and Tobey Maguire as Adult Henry.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give LABOR DAY three and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. This is the type of film I look forward to talking about. It is a look into lives and the reason for choices and decisions that are made. Director Reitman takes us past to lead us forward toward a conclusion that is hopeful and promising.

Jenise and I agree that this film was beautifully done, very heart stealing with performances that stand out as some of the finest. When choosing a film this weekend that is one to be remembered – feel free to go get Brolin’d yourself with LABOR DAY.

In the end – how long would you wait for love?

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