TIFF 15 Review: Freeheld (2015) ★★★★★


There are many things we expect from movies. But two are most important: story and performance. But when you get the whole combination right, you get FREEHELD. The film, based on a true story, will tell the remarkable story of Laurel Hester, who served over 20 years as a police officer without asking anything in return. But when the dreadful disease of lung cancer attacked her and spread to her brain, she asked one simple thing – pension benefits for her partner, Stacie Andree. But when the Freeholders of County refused to act on her request, a huge campaign begins… and the race against time since Laurel does not have much left….

FREEHELD begins without wasting the viewer’s time and puts your right at the beginning of the story where you find Laurel as a dedicated police officer on duty. Emphasizing her skills, we find how important her job is to Laurel. But soon, she gets the most important prioritized task in her life when she meets the energizing Stacie Andree, who immediately falls for Laurel despite the significant age difference. Soon they move in to a new house where they intend to spend the rest of their lives together. But their plans are curtailed when Laurel is diagnosed with fourth stage lung cancer.

Being worried for the fate of her partner after her death, Laurel asks the freeholders to assign her pension plan to her partner. But at that time, the United did not recognize same sex marriage, which meant Stacie won’t be able to get financial support, and as a result, will lose Laurel’s house. As the movie progresses, you will find out more fascinating details and the support Laurel receives from her colleague to continue her battle for equality.

FREEHELD is a very interesting, emotional biopic based on a true story which most of you may have heard on the news. The screenplay is written so well that Laurel gets enough time to be honored for her achievement before she enters to fight for her partner. Ellen Page as Stacie is truly memorable, while Julianne Moore once again delivers a dazzling performance as Laurel. Does it mean that this role will bring her another Oscar nomination, or the award itself is something only time will tell. But will it happen or not is another story, but when you have a movie like FREEHELD, you certainly would not care much as long as you have a chance to witness another huge performance delivered by the great Julianne Moore.

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