Freeheld is a film about a lesbian couple, Stacie (Ellen Page) and Laurel (Julianne Moore), who are fighting for the right, under the domestic partner act, to have Laurel’s pension go to Stacie when she dies. It’s based on a true story and set in New Jersey in 2002.
Laurel is a detective and has kept her sexuality a secret from her colleagues. Stacie is a mechanic who falls for Laurel the first time she sees her. The movie portrays homophobia, the way Laurel’s colleagues don’t support her and how Stacie isn’t taken seriously because they are lesbians. It also portrays how the heteronormative mindset of society is unwilling to change and learn that the definition of love is bigger than a woman and a man.
It highlights important issues that surround gay marriage and the ignorance around it by showing that the domestic partnership act was a law that wasn’t taken very seriously. It’s hard to believe that only a decade ago, same-sex couples weren’t considered equal to heterosexual couples when it came to marriage.
When Laurel gets sick, she asks the local court to grant her partner, Stacie, her pension. The local court is made up of five white, heterosexual men and the film shows how politics, personal opinions and status have an impact on laws and people’s lives.
The film does a really good job at balancing scenes based on importance and emotions. The relationship between Stacie and Laurel builds at a fast pace but there is so much emphasis on its strengths and love. When Stacie talks in front of the courthouse for the first time, the emotion she pours out and the quietness of the scene that surrounds it has an impact that moves you.
Overall, the film was brilliant and reminds us of how far the gay community has come and the battles we have won. This film also reminds us that we still have a way to go until we reach complete equality in society. And most importantly, it reminds us all that love is love.