Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Moviewatch: "Freedomland"

Director: Joe Roth
Fien Print Rating (out of 100): 45
In a nutshell: I'm not sure when I last saw an actress give as committed, intense and harrowing performance to no avail as Julianne Moore does here. For every second of her screening in this 112 minute dirge, she's wailing, weeping, or shaking with grief and vulnerability. In one of the weakest years for lead actresses in recent memory, though, it's telling that Sony decided not to give "Freedomland" any kind of Oscar push. Moore's performance is daring and unflinching, but like the movie as a whole, it lacks the necessary dramatic beats to be fully believeable and human. As an 8-hour HBO miniseries, maybe Richard Price could have figured out how to adapt his 500-plus page novel, but his screenplay here doesn't have focus. Like Moore, it just gnashes its teeth, grinding viewers into exhaustion.

For a full review, check on Friday, Feb. 17.

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