Freeheld | Salt Lake City Weekly
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  Rated PG-13 · 103 minutes · 2015

Biography, Drama, Romance
It’s so hard for a film to fight through the reality that it’s build around people giving speeches, especially when those speeches are meant for an audience that already agrees. Philadelphia screenwriter Ron Nyswaner adapts the true story of Laurel Hester (Julianne Moore) a New Jersey police detective who, after learning in 2005 she’s been diagnosed with lung cancer, tries to have her domestic partner, Stacie (Ellen Page), designated as beneficiary for her pension. Nyswaner and director Peter Sollett do spend a lot of time establishing Laurel and Stacie’s relationship—including Stacie’s role as caregiver—plus offering a welcome change-of-pace role for Michael Shannon as Laurel’s supportive partner on the force. But there are still too many scenes of people standing before the county commissioners (called “freeholders,” hence the title) giving testimony for us to applaud, while the bad-guy bigots get their talking-point lines that we can boo. And when Steve Carell shows up as a flamboyant gay activist, the weird shift in tone may offer some needed energy, but only serves to emphasize that this is a story more about politics than about people.


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Director: Peter Sollett
Producer: Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher, Cynthia Wade, Jack Selby, Duncan Montgomery, James Stern, Julie Goldstein, Phil Hunt, Compton Ross, Kelly Bush and Ellen Page
Cast: Julianne Moore, Ellen Page, Michael Shannon, Josh Charles, Luke Grimes, Skipp Sudduth, Steve Carell, Tom McGowan, Dennis Boutsikaris, Mary Birdsong and Gabriel Luna

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