Freeheld (2015)

Freeheld
Director: Peter Sollett
Writer: Ron Nyswaner
Based on: Laurel Hester‘s life and the documentary about that
Cast: Julianne Moore, Ellen Page, Michael Shannon, Steve Carell, Luke Grimes, Josh Charles
Seen on: 14.4.2016

Plot:
Laurel (Julianne Moore) falls in love with Stacie (Ellen Page) and vice versa. The two build their life together, a life that Laurel carefully shields from her job as a cop and even her partner Dane (Michael Shannon). But then she is diagnosed with cancer and things are not looking good. As Laurel realizes that she’ll probably not survive, she knows that she has to fight to have Stacie and her (civil) partnership with her recogniced by the city council to make sure that Stacie will get the spousal pension after Laurel’s death. But the council is not willing to make that happen.

Freeheld is a conservatively made film about a progressive topic: while the filmmaking here is not revolutionary, the fight for queer rights is and as we keep seeing over and over again, it’s unfortunately far from won. So keep the films on coming and if they push every emotional button in the most obvious way, it’s even better: people obviously still need the basic lessons.

freeheld Continue reading

Bird People (2014)

Bird People
Director: Pascale Ferran
Writer: Guillaume Bréaud, Pascale Ferran
Cast: Josh CharlesAnaïs DemoustierRoschdy ZemTaklyt VongdaraGeoffrey CantorCamélia JordanaRadha Mitchell
Part of: Viennale, Scope50
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Gary (Josh Charles) comes to Paris for a business meeting and quite suddenly he decides that he won’t be returning home anymore. Audrey (Anaïs Demoustier) works as a chamber maid in the hotel Gary’s staying at. Her interest is piqued by Gary but quickly moves away from him when she finds herself transformed into a sparrow. For both of them, the sudden shift in perspective means a re-ordering of their lives.

Bird People was charming and amusing, but it lacked a sense of direction for me. I would have liked to get a bit more focus, but I didn’t miss it too much.

birdpeople

Continue reading

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (2009)

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men
Director: John Krasinski
Writer: John Krasinski
Based on: David Foster Wallace’s short stories
Cast: Julianne Nicholson, John Krasinski, Timothy Hutton, Chris Messina, Max Minghella, Dominic Cooper, Will Arnett, Christopher Meloni, Denis O’Hare, Josh Charles, Bobby Cannavale, Rashida Jones

Plot:
Sara (Julianne Nicholson) recently broke up with her boyfriend Ryan (John Krasinski). To cope with the ensuing funk she starts an interview project she wants to use for her dissertation where she interviews various men or records conversations she overhears. The subjects of these interviews are varied but mostly they revolve around sex.

I thought that the film’s set-up was a little weird, focusing away from the interviewee’s and on to the interviewer as it does. That just didn’t work that well for me. But the cast was good and most of the respective interviews very nicely done.

Continue reading