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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Labor Day (2014)

This is an oddly atmospheric movie that was critically unpopular, but I, once again, felt differently.  Maybe it is because I have seen women like the character that Kate Winslet plays, and while I do not get them at all, I see that there are more than a handful of them, and so to spend 2 hours in a movie thinking about them is well worth my time.

Adele (Winslet) is a fragile woman with phobic traits who lives almost entirely within the four walls of her house.  She ventures out with her son Henry to shop when it is absolutely necessary and it is only with great effort and anxiety that she manages that.  We find out that she has had numerous miscarriages and the sadness of that endless loss broke up her marriage, but she strikes me as someone who was anxious even before that.  It is on one of her grocery trips that she and Henry are more or less abducted by Frank, an escaped prisoner convicted of murdering his wife.  His plan is to hole up with them until he can catch a train out of town.  Unfortunately for him it is Labor Day weekend and so he is stuck there for days rather than hours, and over that time Adele becomes quite fond of him.  He cooks, he cleans, he fixes things.  He teaches Henry to play baseball and make pie.  He is tightly wound and violence simmers beneath his surface, but he has something in him that makes Adele brave, braver than she has been in years.  All does not go well in the short run, but the long run is another story altogether.

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