Freeheld

Freeheld

(2015)

All love is equal.

Romantic drama following a New Jersey police lieutenant (Julianne Moore) with terminal lung cancer, forced to go to court to have her pension benefits passed on to her same-sex partner (Ellen Page) – a right that was only given to heterosexual couples. Based on the Oscar-winning short documentary of the same name. From the screenwriter of Philadelphia and the director of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, co-starring Michael Shannon and Steve Carell.

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Flicks Review

If ever there was a story that illustrates the crappy hand dealt to same-sex couples, it’s here in Freeheld. First brought to film via the Academy Award-winning documentary of the same name, it’s now retold in full Hollywood regalia, topped off with Steve Carell as a hyperactive gay rights activist, replete with a rainbow yarmulke.... More

And it sure is a heartbreaking tale. New Jersey cop Laurel Hester, (Julianne Moore) wants to leave her pension to her civil law partner, Stacie Andree (Ellen Page). Hester, decorated cop of 25 years, has terminal cancer but the county bosses in Jersey, religious types among them, don’t want to afford the lesbian couple the same rights as the hetero cops.

Sounds like something from the 1980s but the year is 2005, a stark reminder of how recent, and perhaps fragile, the acceptance of the LGBT community really is.

Cynthia Wade nailed the story in her short in some 35 minutes, but the task of making this a movie has tested director Peter Sollett (Raising Victor Vargas), working with a screenplay from Ron Nyswaner (Philadelphia). On the plus side, it cracks along at pace and has some genuine laughs up its sleeve. And yes, it will definitely test your tear ducts.

While Moore’s performance is a marvel at first, she ends up pulling a muscle in the hopeless battle to make the performance trump the script. Michael Shannon, as Hestor’s cop ‘partner’, is, as always, a scene-stealer.

Other characters may as well be made of Gib board. Unfairly, it’s the otherwise convincing Ellen Page who gets the worst scene, as she races a male mechanic to rotate the wheels of a car. “Girls can do anything”, it screams, at an audience who don’t need to be told.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 3 ratings, 3 reviews
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BY Gaspardation superstar

No chemistry. No motivating plot. No adherent theme. Such a waste of such a good story.


BY Deb superstar

It would be pretty hard to take this story and not make a film that would be at home on the Sunday weepie slot. Maybe NOT having two box office stars would have helped. Maybe making it a little more gritty. With actual dirty grit. But all that on one side Julinne Moore and Ellen Page turn in great performances and this is a story about culture changing in our time. For me its uplifting that this movie has been made and that it chronicles the normality of lesbian life.


BY ems superstar

A fantastic story, Sad moments sad but nice ending. Ellen Page was great and Steve Carell was very good as well.


The Press Reviews

44% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • A film that should feel urgent and of its time, but instead is rendered cliched and dull by Sollet’s amateurish handling of the material. Full Review

  • Moore charts Hester's physical disintegration with brutal candour while, at the same time, conjuring up the indomitability of somebody determined to leave a worthwhile legacy -- to her partner and to other gay couples caught in the same bind. Full Review

The Talk
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