Labor Day is a 2013 drama film directed by Jason Reitman and starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin. Based on the 2009 novel of the same name by Joyce Maynard, the story follows 13-year-old Henry Wheeler (Gattlin Griffith), who is already struggling with the difficulties of entering adolescence, but has added pressure to caring for his lonely, recently divorced mother. , Adele (Winslet).
When her husband leaves her, Adele becomes depressed, lonely and a bit reclusive, but who can blame her? Desirous of love, she does not expect what will follow. Almost ten years after its release, we are still both drawn and repelled by this bizarre love story. In honor of the generally unrelated holiday the movie takes its name from, let’s take a look at what’s going on with Labor Day.
A murderer who makes a perfect husband
Adele may be a recluse, but she always takes her son shopping for school supplies. While shopping one day near Labor Day weekend, they come across Frank Chambers (Brolin), who is all bloody and stressed with a stomach injury; he is intimidating and quite scary, convincing Adele that he needs help and they take him home with them. Well, how could she say no, we asked sarcastically?
Right away, they leave audiences mystified by this wildly unrealistic reality, wondering what’s going through Adele’s head, though when someone needs help, we can’t always turn our heads. On this occasion, however, it was the wrong choice, and it soon becomes apparent that Frank is a convict who has just escaped from prison and is the subject of a manhunt.
It turns out that Frank was actually serving an 18-year prison sentence for murder. He forces Adele to take him to her house and ties him to a chair with a strange seduction, the direction making him feel like a romantic gesture. He explains that if they get caught, she is able to tell the police that she was kidnapped. Essentially holding them both hostage, Frank begins to insert himself into their lives and barely went a day before taking on the role of husband and father, which is incredibly strange. Sure, he’s not half bad, but it’s extremely odd how quickly they become completely on board with a suspected murderer wandering around the house.
He killed his wife but made a mean pie
Frank begins baking pies, doing laundry, and teaching Henry how to play baseball. The film begins to portray Frank as the perfect husband, despite being a convicted felon who ostensibly holds a mother and son hostage. Labor Day is filmed with a lot of sentimentality and sugary melodrama, like a Lifetime movie, with Adele and Frank developing a passionate love for each other as if it were a normal romantic drama. From movies to music, cinematography and acting, all about Labor Day belies the fact that it’s ridiculous and horrifying.
To give Frank the benefit of the doubt, we understand why he was in prison for murder. Through flashbacks, we witness a young Frank, who has just discovered that his wife cheated on him and that his baby is probably not his. When he confronts her about it, the conversation heats up and he pushes her, causing her to fall, hit her head against a radiator and die. Ignoring the fact that he practically held a woman and her son hostage in their home and weirdly integrated himself into their lives without their permission, he probably didn’t deserve life in prison for physically assaulting his wife and child. accidentally killed.
Adele is desperate (or crazy) on Labor Day
Frank is portrayed in the film as having a lovable, fatherly, and charming nature despite, you know, accidentally killing his wife, escaping from prison, and taking hostages. The movie just doesn’t treat them as bad things, resulting in extremely creepy and weird scenes where Frank cooks delicious food like chili and lustfully spoon-feeds it to Adele while she’s still tied up. to a chair. No one wondered what was going on with Adele? Is it a romantic drama or a study in mental illness? If he managed to escape from prison, wouldn’t she wonder how their relationship would work out? He is a wanted man who has just arrived unexpectedly.
One could perhaps suggest that Adele is desperate; her husband left her, she’s completely on her own, so when a strong, handsome man who can cook and cook comes into her life, is great with his son, is affectionate, and even does laundry, she jumps right in. Not only is it condescending and demeaning to women, but it’s just a stupid storyline decision. Making pies sure doesn’t make up for all the murder/jail/hostage stuff.
Essentially, there’s nothing right about Adele and Frank’s relationship; he may be “the perfect husband,” but the way he went about it is still downright chilling. Yes, Frank pulls Adele out of her reclusive rut, he’s brilliant with Henry and has actually created a new family out of them, but he’s almost too sympathetic, seemingly oblivious to his many years in prison and bewildered by the horrific situation. in which he is. created with this weird new little family.
It was inevitable that in the end Frank would be caught, sent back to prison with an additional sentence for the kidnapping. Although she tries to convince the police that she was not kidnapped, Adele watches as he is taken away. As we watch her heart break, it’s clear we’re not looking at a beautiful unrequited love story, but rather a mentally ill woman worn down by despair.
Happy Labour Day.