Kate Winslet’s new film Labor Day, which opens  in the US tomorrow (January 31, 2013) has received a mixed reaction from critics, with many finding the plot just too far fetched. The film co-stars Josh Brolin and Toby Maguire and is based on a 2009 novel by Joyce Maynard.

Kate Winslet
Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin at the 'Labour Day' photocall

Labor Day tells the story of  Adele a single mother with a 13-year-old son living in a small New England town. They are kidnapped by an escaped convict who hides out at their house. However the man turns out to be not what they had expected, instead he is gentle and proves a good male influence in their home.

One thing that critics weren’t too favourable of was the plot itself, Joshua Rothkopf (Time Out New York), wrote, "The two leads do what they can with the sentimental material; it's almost a miracle that neither turns red with embarrassment (though this isn't going first on their clip reels)". Anthony Lane (New Yorker) found the plot implausible, writing, "It looks swell, and Winslet adds another portrait of pained watchfulness to her gallery of suffering heroines, but the result feels like a richly implausible dream disguised as a soulful drama." However Betsy Sharkey (Los Angeles Times) looked beyond the plot failings to write, "if you can get past the past, which I recommend, what is left is a lovely, intimate film about longing and love."

Watch a clip from Labor Day:

Most of the praise went to the actors, Winslet’s performance was called  "deeply sincere and moving performance" by Shirley Sealy (Film Journal International) and Todd McCarthy (The Hollywood Reporter) wrote that Labor Day is "a nuanced, superbly acted love story with a most unusual genesis." However the star performances just don't seem to be enough to cancel out the film’s failings  as Tim Robey (Daily Telegraph) writes "There's craft, care and sensitivity in every frame of Labor Day, so why does the movie feel so counterfeit? It's a puzzle."

Labor Day is released in the US on January 30th and the UK on February.