• Warning: Spoilers
    "55 Steps" is a new movie, German/Belgian co-production in the English language from 2018 that was directed by Danish Emmy-nominated filmmaker Bille August who has been in film for 40 years already and his writer Mark bruce Rosin is equally experienced as his previous credits date back to the 1970s. But these two are of course not as the two lead actresses in the center of it all: Oscar-nominee Helena Bonham Carter and 2-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank. And these two are the real reason why this film should be seen. Both are doing a really good job that reminded me a bit of female equivalents of Hanks and Washington in Philadelphia, but the production here will probably not be as prestigious enough to grant them the same amount of awards recognition, even if there is some great awards bai in this film here, especially for Bonham Carter. This is the story of a disabled woman who got drugged against her will in a psychiatrics clinic. And about the lawyer who seeks justice, not just for said patient, but also for patients in future cases as she tries to get a crucial court decision that may change forever the ways in which these clinics are allowed to treat their inmates. Aside from that, there are several sub plot that keep adding tension and drama, but at times maybe feel a bit too forced for their own good. Maybe sometimes, more focus on the story at the core of it all would have been better, so the script is far from perfect. It is just too much overall, even for a 2-hour movie. Let me mention here some examples, some sub-plots. It all feels a bit rushed in, especially as these are major events taking place: Bonham Carter's character's mother, Swank's character's declining health, Swank's character's marriage and plans to go to Mexico, Bonham Carter's character's death and there's more. Also the key story is a bit generic at times moving back and forth between they are losing, they are winning, they are losing, they are winning etc. Still there are also good moments, many actually and the weaknesses I mentioned also have positive to them like for example that the death at the end solves the conflict of Swank's character leaving her close friend behind. And there was one particular scene that I really really liked a lot, namely the one that takes place at a wedding where we have the two women watching the ceremony and it's quotes like these that she always sits on the the side that has less people to it that really made this maybe the best moment of the film because it was for once not as much in your face and trying to be important as instead it delivered truly nciely on the subtle side. There is a reason why I did not say self-important as this is not what the film is. It is not a failure, it is not a bad film, but maybe it lacks a bit substance at times and feels it is far from the level it could have reached instead. The experience by the two people who directed and wrote this one certainly shows on some occasions, but not always. Maybe you could even say that the two lead actresses saved the film to some extent. And even if I don't really believe it will make a huge impact come awards season (also because it is still so long until then), I am curious especially about the impact HBC wil make. All in all, the film is a bit of a missed opportunity, but still worth checking out for sure, maybe more for female audiences than for males, and of course also for those who like the lead actresses as much as I do. Everybody who hates on Swank because they call her overrated and thing two Oscars is two too many should check this one out. She is really good here and maybe the key reason why I hand out a positive recommendation. And finally a few words on the 2 men in here. As a fan of The Broken Circle Breakdown, it was pretty nice to see Johan heldenbergh in here, I guess Belgium being listed as a production company also has to do with him, even if sadly he really does not have the material to shine, but is just there to add to Swank's character. Nonetheless a nice inclusion. As for Tambor, the received a great backlash recently resulting in his exit from his career-defining television show, but he has such a great year on the big screen right now, also with his Stalin-themed film, and as long as he is not convicted of anything I think it's wrong that he's probably having a hard time getting cast for the final years of his career. I am glad we got to see him in here at least. Stay strong Jeffrey, we don't give up on you and appreciate your art. And finally for the film: Go watch it if you can.