AWFJ Movie of the Week, September 28-October 4: FREEHELD

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Opening October 2, the AWFJ Movie of the Week is Freeheld, starring Julianne Moore as a terminally ill police officer fighting to ensure that her pension goes to her same-sex partner (Ellen Page). Read on…

Written by Ron Nyswaner, who previously penned heavyweight dramas such as Philadelphia and The Painted Veil, the screenplay confronts institutional homophobia head on via the story of decorated cop Laurel Hester (Moore) who discovers she is terminally ill… and that, on her death, her pension will not be given to her long-time same-sex partner Stacie Andree (Ellen Page). Determined to right this wrong, and despite the personal tragedy of their situation, the pair engage in a politically and emotionally charged battle to see they receive the same treatment as any other couple.

Directed by Peter Sollett (Raising Victor Vargas, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist), and co-starring Michael Shannon, Steve Carell and Josh Charles, Freeheld is a solid issue-based film lifted by its brilliant central performances by the unendingly talented Moore and Page.

AWFJ Movie of the Week Panelists Comments:

Pam Grady: A decorated cop (Julianne Moore) discovers that she is terminally ill and tries to ensure that her pension will go to her partner (Ellen Page) only to face homophobia and an unfeeling bureaucracy in the ripped-from-the-headline drama Freeheld, penned by Philadelphia scribe Ron Nyswaner.

Nell Minow: Freeheld — for a #lovewins story with a brilliant cast.

Jennifer Merin: Brilliant performances by Julianne Moore and Ellen Page set fire to this compelling truth-based drama about a terminally ill police officer who is determined that her same sex partner receive her pension. A beautifully crafted film with an important theme.

Film Details:
Title: Freeheld
Director: Peter Sollett
Release Date: October 2, 2015
Running Time: 103 minutes
Language: English
Shooting Location(s): New York state, USA
Principal Cast: Julianne Moore, Ellen Page, Michael Shannon, Steve Carell
Screenwriter: Ron Nyswaner
Production Companies: Double Feature Films, Endgame Entertainment, High Frequency Entertainment, Head Gear Films, Metrol Technology
Distributor: Lionsgate
Official Site

AWFJ Movie of the Week Panel Members: Nikki Baughan, Anne Brodie, Pam Grady, Leba Hertz, MaryAnn Johanson, Loren King, Cate Marquis, Katherine McLaughlin, Jennifer Merin, Nell Minow, Perri Nemiroff, Kristy Puchko, Sheila Roberts, Liz Whittemore, Jeanne Wolf.

Other Movies Opening the Week of September 28 – October 4:

September 28
If Not For His Grace
Unlikely Family
And so forth, listing all openers in alphabetical order

September 29
24 Hours
Old 37
Boiling Pot
Deadly Revisions
Better Than Crazy
Chillers 2
Death’s Door

September 30
Attack on Titan: Part 1
The Walk
Labyrinth of Lies
The Creeping Garden

October 1
The Prey
Tim Timmerman: Hope of America
Imperfect Sky
Message From a Mistress
Confidence Game
Tattered Angel
Sex, Lies and Snuff Online
After Ever After
The Lost Within
Stretch and Bobbito
New Comic Day
Pilchuck: A Dance With Fire
Twenty Million People
We Could Happen
The Atlantan
Individually Wrapped
Strength in Union
Rumbula’s Echo
Winter Has No Sun
Roadie: The Documentary
Waiting in the Wings
League of Millions

October 2
The Martian
Brand: A Second Coming
Hell and Back
He Named Me Malala
Addicted to Fresno
A Christmas Horror Story
Shark Lake
Manhattan Romance
Saving Mr Wu
Aram, Aram
Garm Wars
Shout Gladi Gladi
Eating Happiness
R-Naught 15
Jack Pierce, Maker of Monsters
Headed South for Christmas
Funeral Service
Sometimes Salvation

October 3
Fan Girl
The Wasted Times

Edited by Sandra Kraisirideja, Associate Editor

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Nikki Baughan

Nikki Baughan is a London-based freelance film critic and features writer. Formerly editor of both Film Review and movieScope magazines, Nikki is currently contributes to various print and online publications, including Screen International, BFI, The List and Film Divider.