FREEHELD tells the true story of Laurel Hester, a police detective, and her domestic partner Stacie Andree. When Laurel is diagnosed with terminal cancer the women must fight to have Stacie receive Laurel’s pension benefits.

“Love Is Equal” is the tag line used for this film and seems to be a trend in LGBTI-themed films these days. More and more of these films are getting a cinema release, showing a wider audience that same-sex love is no different to heterosexual love.

[showads ad=MREC]The proof of this is the way we see Laurel and Stacie’s relationship develop in Freeheld. Although Laurel is in the closet to her work colleges, the rest of their relationship and the way they meet and fall in love is typical of all relationships. They make such an adorable couple. It makes their story all the more powerful when things don’t go so well. Writer Ron Nyswaner does a great job in making sure the audience has a strong emotional connection to these characters.

I also liked the way it showed how there were smaller battles fought which lead to the bigger battle for marriage equality. It shows that while the latter is a major change to society and does not happen overnight, it instead goes through a process of steps in order to have the changes occur down the track.

Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are those types of actors who are brilliant in everything they do. Their chemistry is so lovely that you feel like they are a real couple.

The best performance for me, though, was Michael Shannon. In some ways he is given the most to work with as he tries to come to terms not only with the fact that his work partner is dying but that she has been keeping a secret from him. You can see these emotions in Michael’s face and so he does not need to say anything to know how he feels.

The one disappointing aspect of the film was the performance of Steve Carell. While I do not know what the real Steven Goldstein was like, I found Steve’s performance to be a bit over the top. To me, it was out of touch with the rest of the film.

Once again film shows us the way in proving how normal and natural same sex relationships are. Freeheld shows us that regardless of how small the battle can be, it can still lead to major changes.

Freeheld is screening in cinemas from November 5

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