6.6/10
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31 user 145 critic

Freeheld (2015)

Trailer
2:26 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Peter Sollett

Writer:

Ron Nyswaner (screenplay by)
1 win & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Julianne Moore ... Laurel Hester
Ellen Page ... Stacie Andree
Michael Shannon ... Dane Wells
Steve Carell ... Steven Goldstein
Luke Grimes ... Todd Belkin
Gabriel Luna ... Quesada
Anthony DeSando ... Toohey (as Anthony De Sando)
Skipp Sudduth ... Chief Reynolds
Josh Charles ... Bryan Kelder
Kevin O'Rourke ... Dan Wickery
Tom McGowan ... William Johnson
William Sadler ... Peter Santucci
Dennis Boutsikaris ... Pat Gerrity
Adam LeFevre ... Don Bennett
Jeannine Kaspar ... Margaret
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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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A true story of love and injustice. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements, language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 November 2015 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

No sin ella See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$37,983, 4 October 2015

Gross USA:

$573,335

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,474,471
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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 »

Goofs

Laurel and Stacie first encounter each other at a volleyball game with each playing on opposite teams. Stacie serves to Laurel, whereupon Laurel's team successfully returns the ball and the game is over. However, in volleyball, only the side that is serving can score a point and they must also win by two. For the game to be over, Laurel's side would need to get the ball back to serve the winning point. The director may have decided to skip that in order to keep the story moving. See more »

Quotes

Steven Goldstein: Hell! If you and I got married tomorrow, I'd be entitled to your benefits!
Laurel Hester: Wait, is that a proposal?
Steven Goldstein: Oh honey. I would marry you, but I wouldn't know what to do with your vagina.
See more »


Soundtracks

Healer
Written by Geoffrey Christopher Rowell
Performed by Warm in the Wake
Courtesy of VU Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Come for Moore but Sadly Nothing Else!
19 September 2015 | by ClaytonDavisSee all my reviews

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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