Title: Labor Day

Director: Jason Reitman

Starring: Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, Gattlin Griffith, Tobey Maguire, Clark Gregg, Brooke Smith, James Van Der Beek, Maika Monroe, Alexie Gilmore

Four times Academy Award nominee, Jason Reitman, after having portrayed delightfully poignant and irreverent stories, such as ‘Thank You For Smoking,’ ‘Juno,’ ‘Up in the Air’ and Young Adult,’ delivers an intensely suave adaptation of the novel ‘Labor Day’ by Joyce Maynard.

It is the very Labor Day weekend that is bound to mark the lives of Adele (Kate Winslet) – a divorced, single mother who rarely ventures further than her house – and her judicious thirteen year old son, Henry (Gattlin Griffith/Tobey Maguire), through the encounter with Frank (Josh Brolin), an escaped convict.

The charm of this screen drama is the delicacy through which Henry’s coming of age tale intertwines with lost and found love for both Adele and Frank, without spouting off in mellifluousness. This has surely been attained by the choice of brilliant actors such as Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin and young Gattlin Griffith who make audiences empathise with them, even when they are ostensibly doing very little. But also the secondary characters have just as well been casted, like James Van Der Beek, who surely proves to have left Dawson Leery behind him.

Reitman’s keen eye for nuances of inner lives and human drama, evokes the flair of ‘The Bridges of Madison County,‘ with an analogous, unexpected and intense encounter, that lasts a fleetingly long weekend, in a small province of the United States.

The mesmerising relationship that draws these three characters together, will gradually reveal their skeletons in the closet and the reason why each one has the uncontainable urge to build a family. Past mistakes coalesce with the chasm of echoing regrets creating fabulistic realism.

Technical: A

Acting: A

Story: B

Overall: A-

Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi 

Jason Reitman Jason Reitman

By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi, is a film critic, culture and foreign affairs reporter, screenwriter, film-maker and visual artist. She studied in a British school in Milan, graduated in Political Sciences, got her Masters in screenwriting and film production and studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York and Los Angeles. Chiara’s “Material Puns” use wordplay to weld the title of the painting with the materials placed on canvas, through an ironic reinterpretation of Pop-Art, Dadaism and Ready Made. She exhibited her artwork in Milan, Rome, Venice, London, Oxford, Paris and Manhattan. Chiara works as a reporter for online, print, radio and television and also as a film festival PR/publicist. As a bi-lingual journalist (English and Italian), who is also fluent in French and Spanish, she is a member of the Foreign Press Association in New York, the Women Film Critics Circle in New York, the Italian Association of Journalists in Milan and the Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean. Chiara is also a Professor of Phenomenology of Contemporary Arts at IED University in Milan.