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“Freeheld,” starring Julianne Moore enters the Oscar race with a touching Trailer

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Issue driven films with a ton of heart usually find their way into the awards season one way or another. Hopefully, it’s because they’re good movies and legitimately important, either for the culture or the world in general. Sometimes though, it’s just due to how shamelessly manipulative they can be on an emotional level. Hopefully, one new entry into the former category will be Freeheld, which is hitting the awards season at a very timely moment in history. A Trailer hit last week (which you can see below) and it appears to be hitting all of the right notes in order to appeal to Oscar in a potentially significant way come its October theatrical release.

The film is about same sex marriage and centers on two women fighting for the benefits that straight couples take for granted. Laurel Hester (Julianne Moore) is a Lieutenant in the New Jersey police force who encounters a struggle when she attempts to pass on her pension to her partner after developing terminal cancer. Her partner is a woman named Stacie Andree (Ellen Page) and is only her domestic partner (yes, it’s a period piece from less than a decade ago), so she’s denied. Thus begins a level fight that spurred a documentary on the subject. Peter Sollett directs, while Ron Nyswaner wrote the screenplay. In addition to Moore and Page, the cast includes Steve Carell, Josh Charles, Luke Grimes, Michael Shannon, and more. It’s prestige through and through.

Considering the leaps and bounds that we’ve taken as a society in terms of LGBT rights, this is an interesting look back at a time when we as a nation weren’t fully formed on the issue. Assuming Sollett and Nyswaner have nailed the material, there’s no reason to think that this won’t be an emotional an thought provoking cinematic experience. If that’s the case and it’s not just overt manipulation in the pursuit of awards, we very well might see this become a pretty notable contender with Oscar and all along the precursor season. The ingredients are most certainly all there, to say the least.

Assuming we have a worthy player on our hands, there are plenty of possibilities for the Academy to latch on to here in terms of awards. Obviously there’s Best Picture, along with Best Director (for Sollett), Best Actress (either Moore or Page, likely the former), Best Supporting Actor (Carell or Shannon), Best Supporting Actress (either Moore or Page, likely the latter), Best Original Screenplay (for Nyswaner), and possibly Best Film Editing or Best Makeup and Hairstyling as well. Right now I only have Page predicted, but that’s playing it safe and mostly based on what I thought before the Trailer hit. Now, I think we could be looking at more than that, though it’s still rather early.

Time will tell if this winds up being a player or not, but Freeheld has announced its presence early on with authority, at least in terms of getting pundits like myself to discuss it as an Oscar hopeful. Moore and Page could easily end up competing for nominations, with Page perhaps being an under the radar contender to actually win her first Academy Award. That remains to be seen, but if you’re looking for another potential flick for the Academy to scope out this fall/winter. Freeheld is a strong bet. You can see the Trailer below, and obviously we’ll have more on it in the coming months. It’ll be out on October 2nd, right in the heart of the Oscar season, so keep that in mind as well…

Here’s the Trailer for Freeheld:

Stay tuned for much more on Freeheld all during the awards season!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He also contributes to several other film-related websites.

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