Friday, September 28, 2012
Won't Back Down
Often it's the films I expect to be the corniest that turn out to be among my favorites of the year. Last year, 'The Way' was that movie. This year it's 'Won't Back Down'.
Based on the title and movie poster alone, it would be easy to assume this 'reform the school system' movie will just be another in a long line of films featuring tough teachers taking the schools back from the troubled kids. But it isn't another 'Dangerous Minds' or 'Stand and Deliver' or 'Lean on Me'. It's a well made, well written, and well acted inspirational film about a group of devoted teachers and parents who risked their careers and their children's future to take on the teachers' unions and improve the school system. And everything about it works. The acting is top notch across the board, and particularly Viola Davis, who consistently proves herself to be the best actress working. If you haven't seen her in 'The Help', 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close', and 'Doubt' then you're missing out. At this point she gets my vote for the Oscar. And, once upon a time I wasn't a big Maggie Gyllenhaal fan, but she really delivers here, as well as she did in 'Hysteria' earlier this year. Kudos to all involved with this one.