9.09.2012

movie night: "won't back down"

There is a line in the new film, "Won't Back Down," when Maggie Gyllenhaal's character says, (and I'm slightly paraphrasing here), "Remember the mother who lifted a car off her child? She's got nothing on me." And she's right. Her character, a single mother in a low income neighborhood fighting to improve her daughter's school, proves early on she's a force to be reckoned with. When she partners with a teacher (played by Viola Davis), desperate to reclaim her lust for life and the passion she once had for teaching, there's no stopping them.

Now, I'm not giving anything away. Anyone watching the movie for 30 seconds knows how it's going to end. And that's actually okay -- I think as Americans, rooting for the underdog is part of our DNA. While I don't know enough about the public school system to really comment on the "trigger law" which is central to the story's plot, in VERY simple terms I can tell you it's when parents and teachers join together to take over a troubled school. Though they ultimately prevail,  Gyllenhaal and Davis' characters encounter an enormous amount of red tape and opposition from the teachers' union and school district.

Here's how I really connected with the film -- Maggie Gyllenhaal. Against all adversity and every hurdle along the way, her character gives 110% to create a better future for her daughter, knowing full well that it all starts with a top notch education. Viola Davis, who is always SO good in everything she does, is once again excellent as a woman who learns to let go of guilt and reclaim the spark she once had for her career. 

It was such a pleasant surprise to watch a film with powerful lead characters who happen to be women. And I suppose what REALLY gets to the point is that these women, in addition to being caring and nurturing mothers, are also women of conviction and resilience. While they may start as the underdogs, they don't stay that way for long.






Disclaimer: Circle of Moms invited me to a press screening of "Won't Back Down" and provided compensation. All opinions expressed herein are my own.

1 comment:

Sonja said...

Now that the kids are back at school maybe I'll get a chance to go to the movies and check this one out!

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