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Kyla’s Movie Review ‘Labor Day’ is about people learning who they are

LABOR DAY (R) - Starring Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, Gattlin Griffith, Clark Gregg, J.K. Simmons and James Van Der Beek. Directed and written by Jason Reitman. This is based on the novel by Joyce Maynard. Adele (Winslet) lives alone with her 13-year old son, Henry (Griffith). She’s afflicted with depression and agoraphobia. On a rare day when she leaves her home to go shopping, she and Henry encounter Frank (Brolin), who is bleeding and in obvious need of help. Adele initially refuses, but changes her mind when Frank makes a thinly veiled threat to Henry’s life. The three return to Adele and Henry’s house, where they learn that Frank is an escaped prisoner and the object of a huge manhunt. As he hides out from the police, he and Adele bond, while Henry ponders what this means for his future. Reitman lets the story unfold, even showing Henry in an awkward relationship with a new girl in town, without moving towards a big climax or easy thrill. Brolin and Winslet have great chemistry. This is a drama about people learning who they are and slowly working their way through situations of their own creation to get to where they want to be. Go see the film looking for a story about two unlikely people connecting in the oddest of circumstances. RATING: B-

THAT AWKWARD MOMENT (R) - Starring Zac Efron, Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Imogen Poots, Mackenzie Davis and Jessica Lucas. Jason (Efron) is a twenty-something who works with his college buddy Daniel (Teller) designing book covers. A third friend, Mikey (Jordan), is a doctor. Jason is a “player” who doesn’t want to get pinned down in a relationship and instead wants to have a “roster” of playmates he can cycle through. Daniel allows their one female friend, Chelsea (Davis), to act as his “wingman” in picking up women, but he has a secret yearning for her. Mikey’s wife Vera (Lucas) has just dumped him, but he’s not quite ready to follow Jason and Daniel back into the single life. In all three stories, the guy has some growing up to do, and since it’s told from their viewpoints, we follow their journeys. Daniel gets involved with Chelsea but doesn’t want to tell their friends. Mikey is seeing Vera but doesn’t want to tell his friends. As for Jason, he has fallen for someone and he does tell his friends… he just doesn’t want to admit that he’s developing feelings for her. Jason meets Ellie (Poots) in a bar where he rescues her from a hopelessly clumsy pickup. They share the same sensibilities and end up spending the night together when Jason makes a discovery. He’s conflicted between really wanting to make an effort for her, while not wanting to admit to himself as to why he is doing it. The title refers to the supposedly awkward moment when one person in the couple–the woman according to the movie–asks where the relationship is going. We’ve seen all this before, but these guys make it fun and fresh. RATING: B

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