The escaped convict is a classic movie character, a role already bursting with intrigue regarding previous misdemeanours and the excitement of the inevitable police hunt on the way. But rarely do they entangle themselves in complicated love stories with already emotionally unstable single mothers.
In Labor Day, however, this is exactly the tale that unravels.
Directed by Jason Reitman in a marked departure from his films Juno and Up in the Air, this tense drama is based on Joyce Maynard’s novel of the same name and stars Josh Brolin as the brooding escapee Frank, with Kate Winslet playing the nervous, small-town mum Adele. Taking a rare step beyond her front door for a trip to the local supermarket with her 13-year-old son Henry (impressively portrayed by Gattlin Griffith), Adele encounters the fresh-out-of-jail and injured Frank, who forcibly invites himself back to the family home to keep away from the eye of the authorities.
Predictably for a film, but still seemingly unlikely given the personalities, over the course of the Labor Day weekend these two lonely souls find themselves drawn to one another and fear slowly makes way for deep affection. Given the setting, the chemistry reaches a climax when they bake an all-American peach pie.
“You have someone who has been jailed for 19 years and is not necessarily a criminal mind, but has committed this crime – although not intentionally so – and you put him with this woman who has been emotionally jailed,” says Brolin. “And people keep saying how unlikely this is – I’ve heard it a couple of times. But then you go and watch Jurassic Park. Looking back in hindsight at all the relationships we’ve been in and all the wacky things we’ve done, it’s not really that far-fetched.”
For Winslet, the question of what attracts people to one another, irrespective of what common sense might deem logical, is one of those unknowable things. “For Adele, I guess the obvious thing is that she hasn’t been near a man for a very long time and hasn’t been in the position of needing to trust someone,” the actress says. “And I think she finds herself trusting in the most unlikely of men, but realises one thing – something I think Joyce hoped of her readers in writing the book – that he is a good person.”
On set, Reitman did away with the usual approach of doing rehearsals, a move that Winslet believes actually lent itself to the film, which was laden with a sense of unknowing, particularly for the youngest member of the main cast.
“It particularly worked for Gattlin, because he was terrified so much of the time, just in playing the role and wanting to do his best,” she says. “The fear that he brought with him was really part of Henry. Nothing was really revealed until each day and that helped so much in terms of creating that atmosphere of not knowing what is going to happen. For Gattlin, it just remained slightly terrifying, which is what we wanted the audience to feel.”
Winslet, 38, who is expecting her third child soon, admits that she used this approach to help bring out the best in Griffith on set.
“He was my priority and I just knew that I had to be his friend and guide him. When Josh and I had scenes, maybe I wouldn’t lend him so much of myself in the way of, say, morning hugs. Other days, when we did have scenes together, I really was just there, really like a parent.”
She describes the connection on Labor Day as “one of the most wonderful” working relationships that she’s ever had.
“It was honestly such a privilege to spend that amount of time with someone so lovely and at that particular age,” says Winslet, who began her acting career around the same age as Griffith. “I think that’s the most gorgeous age to be. Every day there were a squillion questions, but they don’t know how to ask them.”
Divergent trailer will be released tomorrow, and Summit already started the live counting on their Youtube account. The official accounts are online as well:
DIVERGENT is a thrilling action-adventure film set in a future where people are divided into distinct factions based on their personalities. Tris Prior (Woodley) is warned she is Divergent and will never fit into any one group. When she discovers a conspiracy to destroy all Divergents, she must find out what makes being Divergent so dangerous before it’s too late. Based on the best-selling book series by Veronica Roth.
In theaters March 21, 2014
Paramount has backed off plans to open Labor Day, Jason Reitman’s upcoming film starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin, in limited release over a very crowded Christmas holiday, instead planning a one-week awards-qualifying run ahead of a wide release.
The distributor has shifted the film from a slower platform release beginning on Dec. 25 to a wide release on Jan. 31, after an Oscar qualifying run on Dec. 27.
Kate did an interview to The Hollywood Reporter to promote her new movie ‘Labor Day’, in which she talks about growing up on aid and being bullied, the challenges of life after “Titanic,” having kids with different fathers, why she plays so many depressed women, the forthcoming “Divergent,” tweeting and more. Check it:
You come from a family of actors. How much did that influence your decision to go down that path?
My parents met because my father was an actor friend of one of my mom’s brothers, but my mother has never set foot on the stage — she’s quite shy. So it’s a strange thing because people say, “Oh, coming from acting parents,” when the idea of acting would literally make my mother just want to throw up. I did absolutely grow up in a world surrounded by people who were always performing and being flamboyant. I’m from a family of impoverished actors, not the highly RADA [Royal Academy of Dramatic Art]-trained classical actors at all. I’m from a pack of almost traveling players, as I describe it, and I just sort of grew up surrounded by, I don’t know, an attitude towards performing that was absolutely full of just complete joy, really, really just true joy. And I think I just always imagined that I would end up doing it as well. I mean, I certainly don’t remember ever thinking I would be a movie star; that never crossed my mind at all. I lived in a home where we didn’t get a VCR until I was 12, and we were on free meal benefits, and we were supported as a family by a charity called The Actor’s Charitable Club, who would literally help with the basics of living because the life of a starving actor for my father was extremely hard and he would take lots of other parts and other jobs to make ends meet. My older sister, who is now 41, always very much wanted to be an actress and was quite vocal about that. And then I started showing kind of wanting to do it, too, when I was about 8 or 9. It was literally as though if she had gotten a pair of ice skates and wanted to learn how to skate, I’m sure I would have wanted to get a pair of ice skates and wanted to learn how to skate, too. She wanted to be an actress, and so I wanted to be an actress — I mean, that seemed like a hell of a good idea to me. [laughs] My younger sister also does it. And my brother — we have one brother, who’s the youngest — he does not act whatsoever.
Watch the theatrical trailer and online exclusive (via Slashfilm) below. “Labor Day” opens on Christmas Day in limited release.
Canadian director Jason Reitman’s Labor Day starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin, British writer/director Clio Barnard’s The Selfish Giant and award-winning Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi’sThe Past, the follow-up to the Oscar-winning success A Separation are among the titles chosen to unspool in the Dubai International Film Festival’s Cinema of the World sidebar in December.
Joining the trio in the high profile international section will be filmmaker Ivan Sen’s contemporary thriller Mystery Road, which he directed, wrote, shot, edited and scored, and which stars Aaron Pedersen, Hugo Weaving and Ryan Kwanten.
Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty and Belgium’s Marion Hansel’s Tenderness will also play in the section.
DIFF artistic director Masoud Amralla Al Ali said: “The Cinema of the World section is a rich and diverse program ranging from international art-house to Hollywood films from both established and upcoming talent that will captivate audiences this year at DIFF. We look forward to announcing more films that promise to connect DIFF audiences to the widest choice of world cinema this December.”
DIFF will celebrate its 10th year when it runs Dec. 6-14.
And here are more pictures of Kate yesterday at ‘Labor Day’ premiere. She was beautiful wearing a Jenny Peckham dress and Ana Kouri earrings. Check it:
Public Appearances > Press Conferences and Photocalls > 2013 Toronto International Film Festival – Labor Day Press Conference
Public Appearances > Press Conferences and Photocalls > 2013 Toronto International Film Festival – Labor Day Portraits
Public Appearances > Film Festivals > 2013 Toronto International Film Festival – Labor Day