15 October 2015 | subxerogravity
It was a so-so movie on a hot topic.
Ten years before same sex marriage became legal in this country, a police detective from Ocean County New Jersey (played by Julianne Moore) fights for the rights of her domestic partner (played by Ellen Page) to receive her police pension before she dies of lung cancer.
The movie does have everything, as it goes over the life of Laurel Hester. It starts out as a police drama, as we watch Hester and her partner (on the force)Dane Wells tracked down a murderer. We see how good of a cop she is and how much that means to the community. Then it becomes a romance, as Hester meets Stacie and the two start a lovely relationship, slightly tainted by the fact Hester, a "woman in a man's field" wants and needs to keep her personal life a secret even from the work husband relationship she has with detective Wells. Than it's a political drama as Hester has no choice but to become the poster child for same sex marriage as she fights for what is owed to her and what is best for the one she loves.
Yeah, the movie is laid out perfectly, pushing all the right buttons that get liberals all worked up, and filled with note worthy dialog to try to convince the unconvinced of the cause they are presenting. They show you how the other half feels about the topic, but then they visually beat you over the head with little trivial items that show how old white men are too stubborn and set in their ways (my favorite was one of the Freeholders that would decide about the benefits is wearing a small but noticeable cross as a pin on his suit)
I feel the movie may have depended too much on their facts, and when it came to their opinion, they did a lackluster job of showing emotion. Julianne Moore is a great actress and the movie has that going for it. Ellen Page also gives a nice performance especially when she shares a scene with Moore. Micheal Shannon is a far better actor than this movie gives him credit for. I feel that they could have done more with him, but his only real acting spar was Steve Carrel, who played a Jewish lawyer that herd about the Hester case and brilliantly used it to get the point across for gay marriage.
It's a good movie, but it's only a good movie because they talk about a great topic. I would have like them to have done more with what they had and show more emotion about what's going on.