film Freeheld

Some Movies to See This Weekend: October 9, 2015

Friday, October 09, 2015 Rob Samuelson

It's back to being a full schedule this week at the movies. There are a couple 3D spectacles, one of which is a possible Oscar contender. Then there is a for sure Oscar hopeful and a documentary about an inspiring person who has accomplished more for the human race as a teenager than most people do in their lives. Let's see what's available to us at the theater this weekend.

Director: Joe Wright
Writer: Jason Fuchs
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Levi Miller, Garrett Hedlund, Rooney Mara

This one got pushed back from the middle of the summer. It seems a bit of a bizarre fit for October, as a family story like something playing with the Peter Pan mythos would appear perfect for the holiday season. Scheduling aside, Pan is an exciting oddity, because it has little to do with Peter Pan himself, focusing more on a young Captain Hook (Garrett Hedlund). It's literature-adjacent, which partly explains director Joe Wright's (Atonement, Anna Karenina) attachment to the material, and the visual opportunities for such a stylish filmmaker are numerous.

That said, Garrett Hedlund has yet to really impress as a leading man. He's been solid in supporting roles in Unbroken and Inside Llewyn Davis, but he has yet to have a real breakout. Hugh Jackman does not often indulge his scenery chewing side, though, so it should be fun to see him be Blackbeard.

Director: Peter Sollett
Writer: Ron Nyswaner
Starring: Ellen Page, Julianne Moore, Steve Carell, Michael Shannon

A dramatization of the marriage equality movement, the based-on-a-true-story Freeheld focuses on a couple, played by Julianne Moore and Ellen Page, who fight for legal benefits when Moore's police officer character gets a cancer diagnosis. The cast is full of excellence, especially Moore, but my lack of familiarity with director Peter Sollett makes me file this in the “intriguing but can't be off the charts exciting” folder.

But hey, it has Michael Shannon talking out of the side of his mouth. That's always worth seeing.

He Named Me Malala
Director: Davis Guggenheim
Featuring: Malala Yousafzai, Ziauddin Yousafzai, Toor Pekai Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai is a teenage girl from Pakistan who has survived the Taliban. She has dedicated her life to giving the terrorist organization/wannabe governmental body the middle finger by not only continuing her own education, but by building schools around the world to improve education opportunities for young girls. This documentary follows her as she gets these schools going and speaks at the United Nations. It's likely a “make you believe in humanity” situation.

The Walk
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Writers: Robert Zemeckis, Christopher Browne
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ben Kingsley, James Badge Dale, Ben Schwartz

Back in the 1970s, a kooky French man (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) thought it would be a fun idea to break into the World Trade Center and walk between the twin towers on a tightrope. And now we get to see that in 3D, from the man who brought us Back to the Future. It appears a little silly and charming and a lot thrilling in the trailer sequences that have been released so far.  

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