Based on Joyce Maynard’s book, Labor Day is a study in the fragility of life. It shows what can happen in a relationship to send someone over the edge. In one case, into agoraphobia, in the other murder.
Set in a small town we find, Adele, a mother, whose husband has left her, raising a teenage son. She has developed a fear of going outside which sets up her vulnerability. When the mother and son encounter an escaped convict, who coerces them into taking him to their house, it is understandable how this could happen. The love affair that develops seems natural enough.
Through a series of flashbacks, we discover the reason for the incarceration. The convict, Frank Chambers, accidentally killed his wife, who we learn has her own mental problems and has killed their child. This helps in having sympathy for him as the story develops.
While this is a good film, I had two problems with it. One, the flashbacks were confusing because in the beginning your not sure who they are about, Adele or Frank. The second problem, is the ending, just a little to pat for my taste.
This film keeps you watching, and the tension is kept high as the climax approaches.
Four cigars for this one.