FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #39 – “Labor Day” (dir. Jason Reitman)

Poster for "Labor Day"

This week on the podcast, Glenn and Daniel dive into Labor Day, a surprising genre exercise from beloved director Jason Reitman, featuring Kate Winslet as a single mother who is taken hostage by – and finds herself falling for – an escaped convict named Frank Josh Brolin. Can a talented cast and filmmakers elevate a premise that seems, on the surface, to be the fodder of Nicholas Sparks novels?

We thought so – and we promise we’re not damning with faint praise. Check out our discussion below (42:32).

May contain some NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 7 out of 10

Show notes:

  • Music for tonight’s episode begins with “Criminal” by Britney Spears, and ends with Spanish guitarist Fernando Sor‘s “Exercises in B. Minor, Op. 35, No. 22” (as performed by Stephen Novacek) a variant of which appears on the Labor Day soundtrack. Why didn’t we use the version from the movie? Because it wasn’t available as a standalone track. Listen to the lovely guitar. And eat your vegetables. Punks.
  • Correction: Alexie Gilmore played Marjorie, Hank’s stepmother. Evelyn (the annoying neighbor) was played by Brooke Smith, best known from Grey’s Anatomy.
  • Correction: J.K. Simmons is indeed an insurance spokesman, but he represents Farmers Insurance, not Allstate (Dennis Haysbert) or State Farm (“Mayhem”/Dean Winters). As an advertising major, Daniel regrets the error.
  • Correction: It turns out 17-year-old Henry is actually played by a different actor, Dylan Minnette.

Listen above, or download: Labor Day (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play on a non-flash browser)

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