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Labor Day

Labor Day film posterSynopsis

Kate Winslet is a lone mother with her son.  She seems to be suffering from agrophobia, she can’t get out of the house confidently.  Her son Henry (Gattlin Griffin) takes her to the supermarket where Josh Brolin (playing Frank) kidnaps the pair and force them to take him home.  He’s a fugitive from jail and they must harbour him.  Eventually Winslet and Brolin build up trust then love, but they must leave so as to get away from neighbours and police.  They pack up for Canada, will they get away?

Review

The critics have been dismissive about this and one can see why, it’s all rather hokey and unrealistic.  This guy is too good to be true, he fixes things around the house, he is a good nurse to a visiting disabled boy.  In one scene it’s all hilariously reminiscent of that clay pot making episode with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore in Ghost.  This time Brolin teaches Winslet how to make a peach pie, and what he does with the peaches is as ambitiously sensual as what Swayze did with the clay.  Okay, so it’s all what might be some women’s fantasy: the strong capable guy around the house.  There are erotic nuances except the business of masterfully doing what needs to be done.  The boy is initially hostile but is won over by their domestic bliss.  In spite of this, I did quite like the film because it’s closer to the spirit of David Janssen’s Fugitive TV series from the 60s, than the Harrison Ford Fugitive film is.  I’m a fan of Janssen’s fugitive who was essentially a Christlike figure: wrongfully accused of murdering his wife and leading often corrupt and wicked ‘law abiding’ folk on the right path.  In each episode the innocent Richard Kimble is on the run and has to  battle betrayal to the pursuing law enforcer Gerard.  Brolin’s fugitive is similarly a strong decent guy whose misfortunes expose the shortcomings of others.  His behaviour has the tense rationality of the cornered decency.  There is nothing superfluous in the plot and Winslet is good at tightly controlling the emotional turmoil, she could have been hammy but she isn’t.  Hers and Brolin’s is a happy partnership, unlike her disastrous marriage with Leonardro di Caprio in Revolutionary Road.  It’s the unpromising start that blossoms into love.  Sentimental but quite watchable..

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Posted by on April 18, 2014 in At the cinema, Film Reviews

 

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