The box-office bomb “Won’t Back Down” starring Maggie Gyllenhaal (fiesty, low income Mom of academically challenged daughter and the great Viola Davis who is a teacher in this “F” graded school and a Mom with a son with some academic issues.
Movies centers around actual legislation (that I think is in 7 states) that lets parents take over underperforming schools.
Maggie and Viola lead the charge of this union bashing, teacher sort of bashing film in a somewhat of a shot at public, urban education (this film is set in Pittsburgh). Movie has a great supporting cast of Holly Hunter (long time no see), Rosie Perez (where have you been young lady), Ving Rhames and more.
Story moves along, pretty predictable and has a Hollywood ending.
Made me think lots about the pariah feeling parents that create Charter Schools (including in Red Bank) must have felt, how thick skinned they needed to be and what a tough, lonely fight on behalf of their kids.
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This is not based on a true story, just a true piece of legislation “Parent trigger”. But in really life it takes a number of years and in this film the magic happened within just a few months.
I really wanted to like this movie and a few very moving parts but overall it was pretty forgettable.
And about my 1st sentence regarding a box office bomb. I don’t have to read the “trades” to know that if I’m the only one in the theatre on opening weekend, this film is a dud.