Paramount Home Entertainment
In shops Tuesday, 17 April 2007
After sitting down with “The History Boys” and “Half Nelson,” I felt compelled to continue with the tryptic of teacher-makes-a-difference movies by popping in “Freedom Writers.” Now, I hadn’t gone to the cinema for this one after the hip-hop marketing campaign that made me wonder if they weren’t just recycling old script pages from Michelle Pfeiffer’s rubbish bin. This story, however, is all true (or as true as a Hollywood film can be to actual people and events). Hilary Swank stars as the privileged white girl on a mission to bring some education and compassion to the students of a rough-and-tumble L.A. neighborhood where guns and gangs have more priority than essays and syllabi. Among the other actors in the cast are Patrick Dempsey and Imelda Staunton, but it is the fierce group of young students (including April Lee Hernandez) that make it a film worth watching. There are moments that these young actors will take your breath away. As teachers-make-a-difference movies go, this is a good one.