Set over an intensely hot Labor Day weekend in 1987, the story centres thirteen year old Henry Wheeler (Gattlin Griffith) and his single mother Adele (Kate Winslet) who reluctantly harbor an intimidating escaped convict Frank Chambers (Josh Brolin) in their already fragile home. But this is no racy-panic stricken hostage thriller. Oh no. If you're going to be held hostage in your home by any escaped convict then Frank is the perfect house guest. He can come and stay at ours anytime.
Since her husband's departure, Adele has spiraled into a depression that has left her anxious, vacant and isolated from the world that she once knew. On first thought you could mistake her for a woman burned by her husbands abandonment, who neglects her son, but you soon learn that there is more sadness and pain behind those dark and troubled eyes. Her story is heartbreaking and you are left feeling so saddened by her tortured soul and her longing to be loved. Winslet's performance is predictably perfect, if not somewhat outshone in this film by the male leads, particularly her son, Henry.