Kate Winslet Can’t Save ‘Labor Day’
Published: January 29, 2014
But Frank and Adele are no Bonnie and Clyde. In fact, the chemistry between Brolin and Winslet is so tepid, it’s hard to even tell they’re in love. While Reitman’s previous film, 2009’s Up in the Air, a film about a traveling company executive who fires people, spoke to issues of corporate greed and really hit a nerve, Labor Day doesn’t carry the same gravitas. It’s hard to believe the same director could have made both movies.
Perhaps the source material is to blame: The film is based on Joyce Maynard’s novel. But Reitman adapted Maynard’s book and wrote the screenplay, so he’s the real culprit here. The film doesn’t fully explore subplots about Henry’s coming-of-age or Frank’s past, the latter of which is depicted through a series of flashbacks. A brief appearance by Tobey Maguire, who plays an older Henry, sums up an ultimately unsatisfactory ending.
Dir. Jason Reitman; writ. Jason Reitman, Joyce Maynard; feat. Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, Gattlin Griffith, Maika Monroe (PG-13)
Opens January 31 at all Santikos except Bijou