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Jason Reitman may be the son of the great director Ivan Reitman, but he long ago moved out of his father’s shadow. His feature film debut, Thank You For Smoking was a brilliant and bitterly satirical black comedy. He followed it up with the wildly popular indie comedy Juno in which he not only established himself as a successful filmmaker, but also made Ellen Page and Diablo Cody household names. Then, in 2009, he co-adapted and directed the melancholic character piece Up in the Air, netting him several Oscar nominations as well as winning him a Golden Globe. Now, Cinema Blend has received word that Paramount will be producing and distributing Reitman’s next project Labor Day which will star Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet.
The film, based on the novel by Joyce Maynard is about a single mom (Winslet) enjoying the long Labor Day weekend with her son until an escaped convict (Brolin) bursts in seeking shelter. Fitting that this would be announced less than a week removed from the actual Labor Day holiday. The premise sounds like perfect fodder for a thriller, but looking into the description of the novel on Amazon, it seems to be more of a coming-of-age drama. Thanks to Juno, we already know Reitman is capable of this type of fare and I hope he’s again able to mix in his particular brand of dark comedy.
I am really interested to see what he does with this cast. Reitman has already proven his ability to work with, and elicit great performances from, some of Hollywood’s top talent; George Clooney even receiving an Oscar nomination for his performance in Up in the Air. Josh Brolin and Kate Winselt have demonstrated their capacity for grabbing the attention of the Academy in their own right, most recently with the films Milk and The Reader respectively. This seems like a perfect collaboration all around.
Given Reitman’s recent success with Up in the Air, and prior to that Juno, it is not surprising that he’s so busy these days. His new comedy Young Adult, which recently unveiled its new poster, is set to hit theaters in December and he already has another project lined up. Of course both Labor Day and Young Adult are Paramount projects as was Up in the Air. Reitman’s sort of their golden goose right now.