First 'Freeheld' Photo Starring Ellen Page & Julianne Moore Makes Us Excited For These 8 Reasons

The more we learn about the upcoming film Freeheld, the more excited we get for its release this fall, and the first photo from Freeheld has hit the Internet. The movie is based on a true story, and on the Academy Award-winning documentary short of the same name. Academy Award-winner Julianne Moore stars as Laurel Hester, the late police detective who was diagnosed with incurable lung cancer and fought to have her pension benefits left to her domestic partner Stacie Andree, who will played by Academy Award-nominee Ellen Page. The year was was 2005, same-sex marriage was not yet law in New Jersey, and her request was denied by an all-male board of county representatives. Hester and Andree spent the last weeks before Hester's death fighting for an appeal, and won just before she passed away in 2006.

The creative team is as impressive as the cast. The screenplay is written by the writer of Philadelphia, Ron Nyswaner, and directed by Peter Sollet of Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist. Nyswaner beautifully rooted the fight for justice in Philadelphia within the love story and coping with illness, and we can imagine he will do the same here. Here's the shot from Entertainment Weekly:

This is guaranteed to be a great film. Here's why this picture is making us excited to see it.

1. Tearjerker Potential


A powerful story about the fight for equality and coping with death, Page said she was "instantly brought to tears" when she first saw the trailer for the documentary. “Tremendous love stories between women have been made, of course. Some of them are my favorite movies. But to have a love story that brings up the civil rights issue, in relation to women — that we haven’t seen enough in the forefront,” she says. We are almost guaranteed to weep.

2. A Real, Moving Love Story


It's rare these days that we get an affecting love story on screen, let alone one based on a true story. In the documentary, Hester tells the camera, "I am at the point in my life where the only thing I care about is obtaining justice for the woman I love." We can imagine the feature will be just as powerful.

3. Julianne Moore Can Get Oscar 2.0


For years, we knew that Moore was one of the absolute best actresses working today, but she only just won her first Academy Award this year. Based on the material, this will be yet another powerful performance from Moore, and perhaps she'll score her second statuette.

4. Ellen Page Can Break Out Of Juno's Shadow

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Despite roles in big films like X-Men and Inception, Page is still perceived as Juno to Hollywood executives and fans alike. The iconic role might be holding her back; we're excited to see her emotional range.

6. Moore and Page Together Is an Embarrassment of Riches


Two of the most genuine and talented actresses, it is going to be wonderful to see them perform together.

5. It's Page's Biggest Role Since Her Beautiful Coming Out Speech in 2014

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“It got to the point where it didn’t matter what I was doing in my life, there was always this cloud,” Page says. She adds:

“To be shooting the movie so soon after coming out was some of the most joy I’ve ever felt on a film set, which is a tricky thing to say because we’re telling a story that’s incredibly tragic. But the feeling of being out and playing someone who’s gay, and someone whose courage has allowed me to live my life, that feels amazing. People like Laurel and Stacie are the reason I feel so happy in my life now.”

7. The Supporting Cast Is Amazing


Steve Carrell plays a gay-rights activist, Michael Shannon is Laurel's cop partner, and Josh Charles plays one of the freeholders.

8. It's An Important Chapter In the Ongoing Fight For Equality

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It is important to honor the legacy of the civil rights pioneers, and one good way to do so is by remembering the hoops they jumped through to fight for equal rights.

Until we get the trailer for the feature film, to learn more about Laurel and Stacie, view the trailer for the documentary short below:

Rosi Efthim on YouTube

Images: Getty Images (8)