Screened Out – The Big Short

By : Stephen Miller
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Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Steve Carrell, Brad Pitt, Marisa Tomei, Melissa Leo, Finn Wittrock, Max Greenfield, Billy Magnuson, Rafe Spall, Tracy Letts, Margo Robbie

This Oscar-nominated dark comedy succeeds – and the people in the film succeed – by betting on failure. While the rest of us were reeling from the financial crash of 2008 – foreclosing our houses, losing jobs, watching our retirement funds disappear – a small group of counter-thinkers were getting rich.

Director/co-writer Adam McKay (Talladega Nights, Anchorman) finally arrives with a film that entertains while it infuriates. It’s callous, cavalier comedy about a subject sometimes hard to understand: subprime loans. Next to Spotlight – another true story about uncovering a scandal – The Big Short has the best ensemble cast this year.

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Screened Out – Freeheld

By : Stephen Miller
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Julianne Moore, Ellen Page, Michael Shannon, Steve Carrell

Freeheld is an earnest, straightforward movie about Laurel Hester and Stacie Andree, a lesbian couple who had to fight for marriage equality in 2005. Hester (Moore) was dying of cancer after 23 years as a detective for the Ocean County, New Jersey police. She rightfully felt that her partner, Andree (Page), should get her pension.

Unfortunately, at that time, New Jersey only had domestic partnership, and laws to make sure that LGBT people were treated equally were spotty. County positions weren’t under the gubernatorial jurisdiction. Than meant that the five-member Freeholders – their version of a county commission – could decide the fate of Hester’s pension. They said no…twice.

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