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At the movies: Won’t Back Down

October 14, 2012

When single mother Jamie Fitzpatrick (Maggie Gyhllenhaal) has to enroll her dyslexic daughter in a public school, she looks to the teacher and the principal for help.  They both tell her their hands are tied because of union rules.  Jamie does some research and finds that parents and teachers can take over a failing school with school board approval and she sets out to do just that.

Since Won’t Back Down is inspired by a true story, I thought it would be a feel good movie and, for the most part, it was.  The movie wasn’t without its faults, though.  One thing I struggled with was how does one single woman care for her child, work two jobs, and organize an undertaking like that?  Oh, and get involved in a new relationship too.

The acting was fine, but nothing exceptional.  I’m surprised Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis agreed to star in this movie with its clearly anti-union message.  I enjoyed the movie, but didn’t love it – it’s probably another one to wait to see as a rental.

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21 Comments leave one →
  1. October 14, 2012 9:36 am

    Seems like they Hollywoodized the story. I haven’t seen this one but you’ve made me curious. Unions have their purpose but I also experienced their unfair rules when my husband’s job was unionized a few years ago and they cut his wages considerably after 20 years of loyal work!

  2. October 14, 2012 12:52 pm

    I have been wanting to see this but now will wait for the dvd. It doesn’t sound like it is worth the price of a theater admission ticket. Thanks for the heads up.

  3. October 14, 2012 1:01 pm

    This one was completely off my radar, probably for the issues you brought up. Movies like this can be great and inspirational, but please don’t wrap it up all nice and neat and make everything look so perfect! These are two wonderful actresses, so I too am surprised they got involved in this one.

  4. October 14, 2012 2:04 pm

    This will be a rental for me too. I’m surprised that they supported this movie also with the anti-union message, however, being a union member isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. Our Governor has made it a point to weaken the teacher’s unions as much as possible. We have very little power and our contracts are all but worthless. Being on the front lines and having a child in public schools, have opened my eyes to many many things. But not all public schools are bad. But there are many that are. Funding is not equitable and that is a huge problem. You can go from a very poor run down public school and drive 15 miles to a wealthy suburb where they have state-of-the-art everything….yet they are all students and residents of the SAME state and SAME country. There is something very wrong with that.

  5. October 14, 2012 2:30 pm

    Thanks for your advice. I will wait for rental.

  6. October 14, 2012 3:06 pm

    I think I like rentals better than real movies!

  7. October 14, 2012 4:39 pm

    Wow, that would be a lot for one woman to take on! If that element of it is based on true life than I’d be impressed with that alone. Certainly one I’d wait for the dvd for though.

  8. October 14, 2012 7:16 pm

    Thanks for your concise review. I won’t rush out to see this one.

  9. October 14, 2012 7:17 pm

    I wonder how inspired by a true story this one is, if a person can do all that much. Sounds like a good one, but I’ll wait for the rental.

  10. October 14, 2012 7:22 pm

    I will wait for DVD, and thanks for the heads up. I thought the cast was indicating a real winner, surprising.

  11. October 14, 2012 7:44 pm

    I wasn’t sure what the story line was with this one so I was glad to read your review. Don’t think I’ll rush out to see this one though.

  12. October 14, 2012 9:28 pm

    Ugh! I was so hoping this would be the “go-to” feel-good movie this year. But I would have to agree – how in thw world does a single mom find time to do all that you mentioned! Heck, I’m in school full-time, single mom & I don’t have time to turn around much less start a crusade or a relationship! Thanks for the heads up on this one. I’m going to put it on the one-day-list. :-D

  13. October 15, 2012 2:02 am

    I haven’t heard anything about this movie before. It does sound a little unbelievable but I’d probably rent it.

  14. Beth F permalink
    October 15, 2012 7:14 am

    I haven’t heard of this movie but I can tell by your review that I’d have mixed feelings.

  15. therelentlessreader permalink
    October 15, 2012 7:56 am

    When I first heard about this movie I had high hopes. Those 2 actresses are amazing after all! But I’ve heard some pretty mixed reviews and I’ll be waiting to see it on dvd..if at all ;)

  16. bookingmama permalink
    October 15, 2012 1:25 pm

    I hadn’t even heard of this one prior to you! I’m sure it’s probably not for me!

  17. October 15, 2012 1:52 pm

    I have been curious about this one, but I agree it sounds incredible that a single mom could do all that you describe. I will probably check this one out on the rental front.

  18. zibilee permalink
    October 15, 2012 9:02 pm

    I’m not a single mom, and sometimes I even have trouble keeping the house straight, let alone running schools and being a super-mom. I don’t know if I would find this movie very believable. I do like Maggie though. She is one of my favorite actresses out there today.

  19. October 15, 2012 10:57 pm

    I’d like to know the real story behind the movie first. I’ve heard of this one, but I don’t like the feel-good, all is bright and shiny at the end kindof movie either. I’ll DVD this one if I decide to compare fact with Hollywood.

  20. October 15, 2012 11:18 pm

    When I saw the preview for this I had the same reaction as you. How could mom find the time? Seemed like too much for me.

  21. swright9 permalink
    October 16, 2012 12:58 am

    Give Argo a try. We saw it on Sunday and liked it …

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