Finally the day has come: The drama after a true story “Freeheld“ enters the big screen and expectations are high. this movie is the reason why Ellen Page out of the closet, because it’s been urgent for herself and the LGBTIAQ community in common. So what’s the hype all about?
It’s the true story about the lesbian couple Lauren Hester and Stacie Andree: a cop veteran of 23 years and a mechanic, who live in a partnership and move into a house as the doctors find out, that Hester suffers from lung cancer. She’s gonna die, the tumor’s too aggressive. She wants Andree to keep their house who needs the pension to effort it. The state of New Jersey doesn’t need to pay it for same-sex-partners, but they’re allowed to. And guess what: the representatives denied to pay. the fight begins. Hesters long time partner on the police force supports her against her stubborn colleagues: he just wants justice for his brave partner. As LGBTIAQ activist Steven Goldstein enters the scenery shit gets serious.
Well, you may have read a lot of reviews and most of the critiques aren’t that euphoric. Some even call it banal and to be honest: this pisses me off! What did you expect? “Carol 2016“? I am very happy that didn’t happen. (I loved “Carol“, don’t get me wrong!)
First of all: this movie is an adaption of the Oscar® winning short documentary “Freeheld“ by Cynthia Wade, so there’s no need to put a sepia filter over it. It’s the strength of the movie that it doesn’t need a big soundtrack to underscore every touching scene! And trust me: there are a lot of them, I cried like shit!
And yes, a woman dying of cancer ain’t that beautiful. Julianne Moore acted so quietly, it’s oppressive. Ellen Page may be a little wooden and raises her eyebrows a little too much, but Stacie is a shy woman! Ellen gives such a cute butch! The energy between those two opposites works anyway. I love that “Freeheld“ isn’t a common coming out movie: these are two adult women who meet each other and fall for each other. But there’s also another layer: the relationship between Hesters and her partner of work Dane. She’s always been quiet about herself, he didn’t know she’s lesbian (It’s maybe a result of the “Don’t ask, don’t tell“ politics under Bill Clinton’s presidency?) and that disappoints him personally, but he needs to forget that for supporting her. He doesn’t want to be an icon for LGBTIAQ people, he wants justice, because Hesters risked her life so much, her love of her live deserves appreciation like every heterosexual partner. That’s such an emotional plot and Steve Carrell as the LGBTIA activist Steven Goldstein breaks up this sad and emotional situation with his eccentric, funny and attacking being. Without him this biopic would have been too much, too pathetic and heroic, way over the top. Yes, there are a few scenes that are way too patriotic, but it’s still an US american story about cops who fight for justice. And let’s hope this works.
The real Goldstein said, that he’s not that loud and flamboyant guy and never had a conflict with Dane, but he knows, that Hollywood needs a supporting role and a tiny conflict and he loves this movie anyways and he hopes, that everyone understands the equality of love and the need of support of LGBTIA rights.
Ellen Page’s part of Stacie Andree changed so much in her life, she made that (for Hollywood) brave decision to come out and if you ask me, this been very important for the queer people. She’s an indie role model and I don’t know how many nerds for her, the internet’s full with memes about how much guys like her. As she came out, I haven’t read one single homophobic comment on the common webpages (like 9gag.com) about this and I think, that’s great. I’m not that big fan of her in movies, but I’m a fan of her attitude and how much energy she puts into her work for the LGBTIAQ community. And I love “Gaycation“. They are so cute together! (I need to call my bestie.)
Watch this movie. It’s heartbreaking. The screenplay is written by Ron Nyswaner, the one, who wrote “Philadelphia“. So you can be sure, he’s sensitive enough to handle this topic with care.
And always appreciate the ones that love you, your life could be over in a second. And never stop fighting for equality, don’t let anybody tell you, your love ain’t worth it.
cast: Julianne Moore, Ellen Page, Michael Shannon, Steve Carrel, Luke Grimes