There's a fundamental flaw to this multi-strand social media-themed drama: it's told completely from the perspective of older people who are fearful about the possibilities, rather than the generation for whom electronic communication is the norm. It's well-made by director Jason Reitman (age 36) and his cowriter Erin Cressida Wilson (50) from the novel by Chad Kultgen (38), but it kind of misses the point that this is the future of human interaction. So younger (or more switched-on) viewers won't buy the cautionary message.
IR's set in Austin, Texas, where Rachel and Don (Rosemarie DeWitt and Adam Sandler) are each so focussed on finding space outside their marriage that they don't notice that their teen son Chris (Travis Tope) is hanging out with self-proclaimed slutty cheerleader Hannah (Olivia Crocicchia). Her best friend Allison (Elena Kamporis) is starving herself to be like her, spurred on by her mother (Judy Greer), who is doing everything she can to make Allison a star. Meanwhile, Patricia (Jennifer Garner) is desperate to control how her daughter Brandy (Kaitkyn Dever) uses small-screens, especially worried about her growing friendship with Tim (Ansel Elgort), whose father (Dean Norris) is annoyed that he has quit the school football team.
Oddly, the film seems to adopt the adults' fears as its central tone: the internet and mobile phone communications are potentially dangerous, addictive and isolating. But this makes the film feel more like a sermon than a set of intertwined stories. A far more interesting approach would be to explore how communication and relationships are shifting due to the influence of online media. Indeed, the generational aspects to the films various plotlines are the most compelling elements, with clashing points of view between grown-ups and kids. But audience members who believe that mobile phones and social media sites are the future will struggle with the way Reitman presents them as inherently troublesome.
Continue reading: Men, Women & Children Review
Richard Linklater is well known in the film industry as one of the stand out names in indie movie making. Responsible for a wide variety of films including the decade spanning romance 'Before Sunset' (and its sequels), music fuelled comedy 'School Of Rock', social misfit drama 'Slacker', and innovative animated thriller 'A Scanner Darkly', Linklater has inspired a generation of filmmakers and scooped two Oscar nominations and numerous film festival awards along the way. After 21 years, this Texas born innovator is still thoroughly impressing, his latest project 'Boyhood' having caused a stir for its unique quality of having been filmed over thirteen years. Just what will he do next?
Continue: 21 Years: Richard Linklater Trailer
With one of Kate Winslet's most layered, resonant performances, this film is definitely worth a look, even though the indulgent filmmaking style pushes it perilously close to Nicholas Sparks-style sappiness. Clearly, writer-director Jason Reitman (Juno, Up in the Air) is shifting gears as a filmmaker, but the movie is in dire need of just a hint of his usual jagged wit.
It's set in 1980s New Hampshire, as the agoraphobic Adele (Kate Winslet) is struggling to raise her sensitive teen son Henry (Gattlin Griffith) on her own after her husband (Clark Gregg) left. Then one night escaped convict Frank (Josh Brolin) arrives at their house in need of a place to hide. The next day, Frank offers to help with some repairs on the house. He also notices that Henry needs to learn how to throw a baseball. And that Adele needs some affection. So over the long Labor Day Weekend, he becomes the badly needed man of the house. Then when a neighbour (J.K. Simmons) and a cop (James Van Der Beek) start snooping, they make a plan to run for the Canadian border.
Instead of a dark, menacing edge, Reitman washes the film in sun-dappled earnestness, ramping up the soapy emotions rather than the grittier issues these people so badly need to deal with. This reaches a low point when Frank teaches Adele how to bake a peach pie in a scene reminiscent of the lusty pot-spinning sequence in Ghost: laughably ridiculous. Fortunately, Winslet and Brolin generate some uneasy chemistry, and Griffith is a fine young actor in a very difficult role. Together, they pull the film back from the sudsy brink just in time for a genuinely tense final sequence.
Continue reading: Labor Day Review
When Adele Wheeler lost her husband, her life started slowly deteriorating. Suffering from depression and having developed a slight tremor, she is rarely able to leave the house except for emergencies. When she finally has to face the streets to go last minute shopping with her 13-year-old Henry, they meet a scary-looking injured man named Frank who requests a lift to their house. Too frightened to argue, they accept and later discover that he is an escaped prisoner wanted for murder. However, the mother and son can't help feeling less and less frightened as the hours pass by when he shows them remarkable kindness, despite insisting on tying them up for his and their own safety. It's not long before Adele falls in love again and she, Frank and Henry embark on a dangerous adventure together to finally escape a world that has become so cruel to them - but will the threesome get away before the cops get suspicious?
This romantic drama is set in 1982 and is based on the novel of the same name by Joyce Maynard and has been written and directed by Jason Reitman ('Thank You for Smoking', 'Juno', 'Up in the Air'). 'Labor Day' made its premiere at the 2013 Telluride Film Festival and is set to be released in the UK on February 7th 2014.
Jason Reitman's Labor Day screened to a warm reception at the Telluride Film Festival.
The Coen Brothers, Alexander Payne and Robert Redford are among those attending this year's Telluride Film Festival, premiering their latest movies in the Colorado mountains for an event dedicated to the memory of filmmaker Les Blank, film critic Roger Ebert, entrepreneur George Gund and author Donald Richie.
It's actually the first time the Coen's have visited Telluride and they'll be screening their latest Oscar tipped movie Inside Llewyn Davis. Alexander Payne brings his equally anticipated Nebraska, while Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin, Ralph Fiennes The Invisible Woman and Redford's All Is Lost also screen.
However, much of the talk ahead of the festival focused on Jason Reitman's drama Labor Day, which also screens at the Toronto International Film Festival next month. It stars Oscar winner Kate Winslet as a struggling mother and her son who accidently bring an escaped prisoner into their lives.
Continue reading: Telluride Festival Is All About Jason Reitman's Labor Day
Kate Winslet is to become a mother for the third time!
Oscar winning actress Kate Winslet is pregnant with her first child to husband Ned Rocknroll. The 37-year-old will become a mother for the third time - she is also a parent to 12-year-old Mia with her first ex-husband Jim Threapleton and 9-year-old Joe with her second, Sam Mendes.
Winslet tied the knot with the fantastically named Ned Rocknroll in December after a year and a half of dating. He is the nephew of billionaire Virgin mogul Richard Branson. The actress had never ruled out having more children and told InStyle back in 2006 that she was "hoping to have more kids...I don't know whether one or two. Oh, God, I would love to have more."
Incidentally, Winslet's recently wrapped up filming the Jason Reitman-directed drama Labor Day in which she plays a depressed single mother who offers a wounded escaped convict a ride. As police search the town, the mother and her young son gradually learn his true story as their options become increasingly limited. The movie also stars Tobey Maguire and Josh Brolin and hits theaters on January 31, 2014.
Continue reading: Kate Winslet, 37, Pregnant With A Miniature Rocknroller
Mavis (Theron) left her small-town home for Minneapolis to become an author of young adult fiction. But as her book series comes to an end, she hears that her high school flame Buddy (Wilson) has just had a baby with his wife Beth (Reaser). So Mavis heads home to try to win him back. Of course, nothing goes as planned, and she ends up instead commiserating with another former classmate, Matt (Oswalt), who also can't seem to move on from his teen years.
Continue reading: Young Adult Review
Mavis Gary is the ghostwriter for a successful series of young adult novels entitled the Waverly Prep series. Lately, though, the books have been lagging, so the publishers have decided to cancel them. Mavis has almost finished what will be the last book in the series but is struggling with the last chapter. She is also struggling with more personal issues in her life: she has a drinking problem and longs to relive the glory days of high school, where she was a popular cheerleader and dating the resident 'It' boy, Buddy Slade.
Continue: Young Adult Trailer
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