‘Triple 9’ is a frustrating near-miss that falters beneath the weight of its own ambitions.
The most unsettling element of Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion (which is, by any metric, a deeply discomfiting film) is its plausibility. The film has a clinical approach that underlines how possible its central crisis is and how powerless we would be to stop it. The film has a global scope and an all-star cast, but what resonates most is the idea that this could happen. Anywhere. Anytime. To any one of us.
Labor Day is far darker and perilous than writer/director Jason Reitman’s previous fare. Illness, broken hearts, and tragedy take center stage. Characters are not coddled and nothing feels ironic. Judging from this outing, drama may suit Reitman better than the snappy, sardonic exchanges we’ve gotten used to from him. Kate Winslet plays Adele, a woman long ago drained of love for the world, raising a son that wants to believe that a pure, transformative and truly supportive love exists for his mother. Into their lives enters Frank (Josh Brolin), an escaped convict who takes them hostage and back to their home to wait out the heat from the cops. Brought together by circumstance, what develops between the three of them is something surprising, rich, and strange.