Sometimes the past trips you up. It certainly does Frank, the escaped con played by Josh Brolin in Jason Reitman's new drama, "Labor Day." It definitely unravels Adele, the reclusive single mother Kate Winslet makes so fragile. It is already a defining factor for 13-year-old Henry, played by newcomer Gattlin Griffith, by the time Frank comes into their lives.
...What I didn't anticipate is the way the past might trip up the filmmaker... Yet if you can get past the past, which I recommend, what is left is a lovely, intimate film about longing and love.
...The film finds its footing as the weekend progresses and the temperature and tension — outside and in — rise. There is the ever-present fear that Frank will be found. And there are other tight spots to be navigated: the neighbor who drops by unexpectedly, a friend who needs Adele to watch her disabled son for a day and Henry's flirtation with Eleanor (an excellent Brighid Fleming), the new girl in town messing with his mind and emerging libido.