Freeheld

October 2nd, 2015







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Freeheld

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Plot
New Jersey police lieutenant, Laurel Hester, and her registered domestic partner, Stacie Andree, both battle to secure Hester's pension benefits when she is diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Release Year: 2015

Rating: 6.1/10 (202 voted)

Critic's Score: 39/100

Director: Peter Sollett

Stars: Julianne Moore, Ellen Page, Steve Carell

Storyline
New Jersey police lieutenant, Laurel Hester, and her registered domestic partner, Stacie Andree, both battle to secure Hester's pension benefits when she is diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Cast:
Ellen Page - Stacie Andree
Steve Carell - Steven Goldstein
Julianne Moore - Laurel Hester
Michael Shannon - Dane Wells
Josh Charles - Bryan Kelder
Luke Grimes - Todd Belkin
Mary Birdsong - Carol Andree
Dennis Boutsikaris - Pat Gerry
Stink Fisher - Jake
Skipp Sudduth - Reynolds
Gabriel Luna - Quesada
Tom McGowan - Bill Johnson
Jeannine Kaspar - Margaret
Suzanne Savoy - Town Clerk
Mina Sundwall - Maya Kelder

Taglines: A true story of love and injustice.



Details

Official Website: Official site

Country: USA

Language: English

Release Date: 2 October 2015

Filming Locations: Town of North Hempstead, Town Hall, 220 Plandome Road, Manhasset, New York, USA

Technical Specs

Runtime:



Did You Know?

Trivia:
In real life, actress Ellen Page identifies as a lesbian. She came out in a speech at the Human Rights Campaign's "Time To Thrive" conference on February 14, 2014. She was also included in "The Advocates" (an LGBT interest magazine's) annual 40 under 40 list. See more »

Quotes:
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User Review

Author:

Rating: 4/10

In a time when our nation is going through some the most progressive and long overdue changes in history, a film as timely as "Freeheld" would be welcomed with open arms and minds from critics and audiences. Unfortunately, what director Peter Sollett creates, in partnership with Academy Award nominated screenwriter Ron Nyswaner, is an uninspired, insipid, and downright cheap take on a same-sex couple fighting for death benefits.

Starring recently Oscar-crowned Julianne Moore and Ellen Page, the two manage decent chemistry and maneuver through generic and Lifetime movie-like lines. The impressive Michael Shannon does his very best to elevate all the material, showing the if you're talented enough, no script can hold you back. On the hand, the rest of the cast, particularly Steve Carell, is so over-the-top, and poorly guided, that everything that could have made "Freeheld" a spectacular and moving drama, is quickly transformed into a distorted and tragic version of the Oscar-winning short that the film is based on. The most novice filmmakers could have created something more gratifying.

"Freeheld" tells the story of New Jersey police lieutenant, Laurel Hester (Moore), and her registered domestic partner, Stacie Andree (Page). When Laurel is diagnosed with terminal cancer, both battle to secure Hester's pension benefits.

After just winning her long overdue Academy Award for last year's "Still Alice," the excitement and anticipation for Julianne Moore's next role was at an all-time high. Moore, as we come to expect, commits firmly to the role of a dying woman. Reminiscent of performances like Hilary Swank in "Million Dollar Baby," Moore dives into her psyche, offering her soul to a woman who lived her life with secrets, and became alive in her later years. While Nyswaner's script offers little insight into Laurel and Stacie's love, outside of montages and cancer treatments, Moore finds her way through the pitfalls to come out on the other side intact. Page, who was a strong voice in getting the picture made, is relegated to crying and awkward ticks. Several instances, we are led to believe that "this scene" will be "her scene" where she gets the chance to let loose and show us what she's all about. Once again, Sollett's plain and boring direction quickly cut her every scene short, and offer no room to explore her character's surroundings and feelings. It's a terrible waste of talent.

Michael Shannon delivers a competent and layered performance as Dane, Laurel's cop partner. He finds the humanity and conflict in Dane's misunderstanding about Laurel's lifestyle and later in the fight for equality. He's the film's key positive note. Carell's over-the-top yelling and mannerisms is among the worst acting examples seen in 2015. It's as if Sollett decided to let "Michael Scott" from "The Office" run amok on the set because that's all that Carell manages to evoke. One year after a career-topping work in "Foxcatcher," I'm embarrassed that this is his next venture for the world to behold.

Even down to the cheesy score by Hans Zimmer, nothing about "Freeheld" sings. It lays dormant in a small courtroom, where anger and inspiration are supposed to fly but lies lifeless among the picket signs and Josh Charles' snarls. I was sincerely hoping for something better, actually something magnificent; too bad there's not enough vision to bring this powerful story to life.





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