Love Held Lightly (Movie Thoughts: Freeheld)

thBe sure to bring your hankies if you are going to watch “Freeheld.” As a tearjerker, it does its job. I don’t always agree with how it gets to its point, but it gets there alright. Directed by Peter Sollett from a screenplay by Ron Nyswaner (he also wrote ‘Philadelphia’) the movie is a bit too manipulative and the screenplay is a bit thin, but Julianne Moore and Ellen Page (who play lovers Laurel and Stacie) makes you believe, and not only will you believe it, but they will steal your heart, and crush it to a million pieces. They prove that sometimes great performances can rise above even the most mundane material. Laurel’s story needs to be told – it is the backbone of why marriage equality is so important. If there are still people in your life who are still against equality, have them watch this film and I bet you will get a convert. Michael Shannon plays Dane, Laurel’s police partner, and he, too gives a nuanced performance. Steve Carrell, playing basically a cartoon, falters but that’s more the screenplay’s fault for writing such a one-dimensional character. I don’t know if I could ever see an image of someone holding a nebulizer without tearing up, as it is too close to what I went through. I sometimes ask myself, do I really enjoy seeing these kinds of movies, knowing how they will affect me. But I think it’s cathartic, as it certainly mirrors life, or a life I have led. I hope this movie finds an audience, and not just to the ones preaching to its choir.

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