Thursday, February 06, 2014

Defending 'Adore' and 'Labor Day'

Every year, there are movies that everybody else loves that leave you cold -- and there are movies that you quite like that everybody else thinks are terrible. My new piece for The Dissolve is about the latter phenomenon.

In 2013, I was a fan of both Adore (a.k.a. Two Mothers) and Labor Day, which puts me in a small minority. The other day, I started wondering what it was about those two movies that spoke to me in a way it didn't for lots of other critics. I think it has to do with their willingness to risk being mocked in order to tell heartfelt stories about intentionally inexplicable scenarios. Adore is about two middle-aged women who have affairs with each other's son. Labor Day is about an escaped convict who takes a mother and son hostage -- and ends up falling in love with the mom. Hokey, preposterous, melodramatic -- and yet, they worked for me. I explore my response to these derided films here.