Oscar History

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We Can't Wait! #10: Freeheld

Team Experience is counting down our 15 most anticipated for 2015. Here's Anne Marie...

Who & What: Ellen Page's 6-years-in-the-making passion project teams the tiny Canadian with Oscar-winning goddess Julianne Moore in a story about a dying New Jersey policewoman (Moore) who fights to transfer her pension benefits to her partner (Page). Based on a true story, the film is written by Oscar-nominated Philadelphia scribe Ron Nyswaner, and directed by Peter Sollett of Nick & Nora's Infinite Playlist fame. Rounding out the already stellar cast are Steve Carrell and Michael Shannon. With this film plus Carol (more on that later in the series), this promises to be a good year for lesbians in film.

Why We're Excited About It: So many reasons: It's based on an Oscar winning short. It's a true and beautiful story about the fight for equal rights. It's Moore's second film release after winning the Oscar. If it's successful, it will be proof that an actor (Page) can come out and actually raise her profile enough to get films made. Plus on a purely shallow level, Ellen Page and Julianne Moore are adorable separately, and promise to be twice as adorable together. Observe:

What If It All Goes Wrong: The film itself seems to be in good hands, but the MPAA is a concern. Last year, we had two wonderful LGBTQ films, Pride and Love Is Strange, strangled with R ratings despite no content unsuitable for younger viewers. While Freeheld's star power would hopefully help it overcome the box office hurdles caused by an R rating, it would be a cruel irony to allow the prejudiced pearl-clutchers at the MPAA to censor a film about overcoming prejudice. Time will tell.

When: Lionsgate just won a bidding war to distribute the film, so hopefully we should be seeing it pop up in film festivals with a wider release later this year.

#11 A Bigger Splash
#12 The Dressmaker
#13 The Hateful Eight
#14 Knight of Cups
#15 Arabian Nights
Sidebar 2 Tomorrowland
Sidebar 1 Avengers: Age of Ultron
Intro Pick a Blockbuster

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Reader Comments (25)

Pride was kind of borderline (sorry, but after you set a scene in a leather bar, you can't be too surprised that you don't get a PG-13), but Love is Strange was gross and shows how the rigid "no m-f bombs in a PG-13" is getting kind of ridiculous, both on getting an R in the US and a 15 from the UK. Maybe we seriously should start asking for PG-13 or equivalent to be 4-5 f bombs and ONE m-f bomb?

March 12, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

This seems like it could be excellent and sure to be another home run for Juilanne Moore. Steve Carell and Michael Shannon are two of my favourite actors so very excited to see them in a movie together. Definitely intrigued to see how Sollet handles it also, will be sure to give it a watch once it's released in the UK. Thanks for sharing your review.

March 12, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSophie Elizabeth

Love Julianne's hair

March 12, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

I can't wait for Julianne's afterglow nomination!

Who does Steve Carell play?

March 12, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

i'm already dreading the category fraud for (one of) the campaigns.

March 12, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

You already covered my most highly anticipated releases in 10-15; can't wait to see what the others are!

March 12, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCharles O

i'm already dreading the category fraud for (one of) the campaigns.

Why? Ellen Page like many Best Actress curios receive their second nominations if they get them in supporting.

March 12, 2015 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

3rtful: Because he tries to be militantly against category fraud like EVERYONE should be?

March 12, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Actors are not complaining about category fraud. When being nominated or winning an Oscar began to be the end all be all of a film actor's career---for professional and personal glory---any Oscar will do. No longer are we in bondage to a caste system that says supporting nominations and wins are lesser---an Oscar is an Oscar. Marisa Tomei has no major awards outside of her controversial Oscar win---but she's famous because she won an Oscar---no matter how premature.

March 12, 2015 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

With those two in the leads, how could I NOT be excited for this one, but... is no one else worried about the fact that the guy who wrote Philadelphia is the one writing this? I don't HATE Philadelphia (as I gather many do), but it is not exactly subtle about the points it wants to make and this could be unbearable if it gets really preachy.

March 12, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

3rtful: Dude, if you're saying the acceptance of category fraud means that both wins are equal, then I gotta say: maybe they SHOULDN'T be equal. Also: Marisa Tomei's My Cousin Vinny win, though controversial, WASN'T category fraud. Rachel Weisz? Catherine Zeta-Jones? Geena Davis? Linda Hunt? All valid answers of supporting actress winners if you want to rebut someone who is, specifically, complaining about category fraud.

March 12, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

I think Nathaniel made this clear before: the biggest injustice in category fraud is not to the nominee, but to the true supporting players (think non-star) who couldn't get nominated because of. It's an unfair way to fill more nomination slots with stars.

March 12, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRicopolo

An Oscar is an Oscar just as "there are no small parts, just small actors." The only people who try and diminish an oscar win by reminding everyone that it was "supporting and not lead" are the other 4 nominees from that year who walked away empty handed.

March 12, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

... is no one else worried about the fact that the guy who wrote Philadelphia is the one writing this?

Worries me, too, denny.

March 12, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Re: category fraud

Tell me about it, Ricopolo! I've said it before and I'll say it again: That bitch Winona stole my one chance of an Oscar nom.

March 12, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMiriam Margolyes

That Miriam Marolyes clip should be watched daily.

March 12, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

Was the age diference that big in real life? Ellen may be pusing 30- is she? Not sure- but she is so tiny and looks só young and child-like that the age diference is bothering me just a bit (yes, just like it would bother me if ir were a male-female couple with 20+ years between them. I didnt see Magic in the Moonlight but the shots of frail looking, starved, boyish looking Emma Stone, who looks more like an pre-pubescent girl and a 50 something Colin Firth were bizarre)

March 12, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

Amanda: 19 year age difference. So, yes, that is true to the real story.

March 12, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Julianne Moore making out with Ellen Page? Sign me up!!!!

March 12, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSteven

I agree Denny. One of the things I do not like about Philadelphia is the heavy-handedness and that all comes down to the script. The future (Hanks) and three previous (Washington, Robards and Steenburgen) Oscar winners managed to rise above its First Hollywood Movie To Tackle AIDS flag waving.

BTW, Ann Marie: Nyswaner didn't win the Oscar for Original Screenplay that year, Jane Campion did for The Piano.

March 12, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNewMoonSon

yes the age difference is true to life. This is based on a short documentary of the same name that won an Oscar and that Ellen apparently went crazy for since she's been trying to get a feature made since.

ricopolo -- thanks for understanding. There are many great performances nominated fraudulently. My issue has and will always be that there is no point in inventing Supporting Acting categorie in the 1930s to honor character actors who contribute so much to movies if you're just going to take that honor away so that you can nominated 10 leading actors of each gender each year. Different categories serve different purposes and its an affront to character actors that the stars have normalized this for their own glory. I find it really gross for actors to get behind. I know SAGs rules indicate that they just accept what the studio says but SAG of all things -- an actors union -- should be leading this fight against fraud since the bulk of their members are never going to be leading actors. Supporting categories, DESIGNED TO HONOR THOSE THAT SUPPORT THE MOVIE STARS, NOT THE MOVIE STARS THEMSELVES, should be reserved for those with non-leading roles.

It's like anyone but the super rich voting for Republicans -- why are you voting against your own interests?

March 13, 2015 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

There was some footage of the film that showed up on Youtube about a month or so ago. Some of it looked quite good and some of it not so much. I'll definitely see this but it could go either way.

March 13, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel Armour

Peter Sollett's previous, Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist is pretty forgotten now but it's a fairly underrated up-all-night-in-NYC teen comedy with a great ensemble, hilarious script and some fantastic music. Very spirited and open minded, I was fan. Ari Graynor is legit amazing in it and a Supporting Actress nominee from me that year. Curious to see this as his follow-up all these years later but at least he picked a really interesting story.

VERY curious to see Ellen Page in a post-out gay lead and she's lucky Julianne is on board because it solidifies the interest tenfold. Also, who's a more generous scene partner?

I'll definitely be looking out for this one.

March 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMark The First

There's a very positive chance that the last three Best Actress Oscar winners (J. Lawrence, C. Blanchett and J. Moore) will be battling it out again next time around! JL for Joy, CB for Carol and JM for Freehled. I wonder if that has ever happened before!

March 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMarcos

I'd say the last 8 winners have a chance to be nominated in Best Actress this year

March 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRyan

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