Freedom Writers

Jays Rating:

Based on a true story, the dramatic film Freedom Writers shows how a caring teacher can impact the lives of teenagers. In Long Beach California in the early 90”s, integration forced Asians, Latinos and African Americans to attend predominantly white Woodrow Wilson High School. The kids are all from broken homes or in gangs and other teachers have all but given up on them. Young, pretty and idealistic Erin Gruwell (Hilary Swank) is a first-year teacher of freshman English. She began class by showing students what they have in common such as movies, music and their everyday lives, then asking them to keep journals. Besides the kids, she also has to deal with the two men in her life. Her father Steve Gruwell (Scott Glenn) doesn’t understand her obsession with the students and her marriage is in jeopardy. Her husband Scott (Patrick Dempsey) is upset because she takes on two part times jobs to pay for books and field trips for the kids. (I don’t like the way they made her husband look like the bad guy. It would be the same as me working two extra jobs to help out-of-work actors.) Erin eventually brings the whole class together by introducing them to survivors of the Holocaust. This is an inspiring film that shows how education can help with prejudice. Hilary Swank is very persuasive as a caring teacher and I loved the way they incorporated the use of journals into the movie. However, some of the scenes felt forced and I know some of it was exaggerated. (Somehow, I don’t believe that there wasn’t at least one caring teacher besides her in the whole school.) It would have also been more realistic if they hadn’t had adults play the kids characters. (The 14 year old boys had deeper voices then me.) I’m giving this film a C+ rating.

This movie has been given a PG-13 rating by the MPAA

Although I am blind, I can appreciate a good movie as well as sighted individuals.
I rely more on a good story line than special effects.