Ellen Page is clearly looking to get back into the awards show game with some serious Oscar bait. The actress will be starring in a narrative adaptation of the short documentary Freeheld which told the story of a New Jersey lesbian couple, an auto mechanic and police detective, fighting to secure pension benefits when one is diagnosed with a terminal illness. This story is what acting Oscars were made for and if Page nails it she could find herself among next year’s nominees quite easily.
The screenplay is by Ron Nyswaner, who previously wrote the gay rights/AIDS drama Philadelphia in the early 90’s. That film went on to win Tom Hanks his first Oscar and landed Nyswaner a nomination for Best Screenplay. The writer’s most recent script, an adaptation of Hamlet, is in production under Catherine Hardwicke‘s eye.
This film is coming at just the right time when both gay marriage rights and healthcare are prominent political issues. I am very impressed that Page, who has been bombarded with rumors regarding her sexual preference, has decided to take on this role regardless of what gossip magazines may print about her personal life. It’s a very bold choice and one that I hope pays off in her favor.
The short documentary from which this film is being inspired was directed by Cynthia Wade and won the Oscar for Best Short Documentary at the 2009 ceremony.
Have you seen the original documentary? What do you think of Page taking on a gay role? Do you think this film will play well with the Oscar crowd?
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