Monday, October 23, 2006

Freedom Writers

The trailer for Richard LaGravenese's Freedom Writers is up now at Apple. From the January release date - and very low public profile overall - it seems to me that Paramount might be expecting low returns and be trying to cut their losses with this one. A mistake.

LaGravanese is one of the best scriptwriters of the last decade or so (see Terry Gilliam's The Fisher King, as well as Living Out Loud, The Ref/Hostile Hostages, the unproduced The Defective Detective), and he's a fine director too. I think this film is likely to open only moderately well but then garner good word of mouth, and as a result, drop off less rapidly than is the norm these days. And once when the DVD is released, mark my words, this will be a genuine sleeper, a slow burner, a film that finds an audience slowly, but steadily, and keeps expanding that audience.

And now it's time for me to take my box office pundit hat off and put it away because I don't think it suits me.

In the film, Hilary Swank plays Ellen Gruwell, a real-life teacher who instigated the Freedom Writers initiative, or, to be accurate, the Ellen Gruwell Education Project. The what? Read all about it on the official site - and try to stop thinking about Dead Poets Society or, more to the point, Dangerous Minds.

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