This extraordinary story is the focus of the movie Freeheld, starring Julianne Moore as Laurel and Ellen Page as Stacie.
The film is based on the transcendently moving Oscar-winning 2007 documentary short of the same title. Freeheld also boasts supporting turns from Steve Carell as a New Jersey gay-rights activist, Michael Shannon as Laurel’s straight-laced cop partner, and Josh Charles as one of the freeholders.
Ellen Page also acknowledges the happy coincidence that the project went into production months after she came out in 2014. “To be shooting the movie so soon after coming out was some of the most joy I’ve ever felt on a film set, which is a tricky thing to say because we’re telling a story that’s incredibly tragic. But the feeling of being out and playing someone who’s gay, and someone whose courage has allowed me to live my life, that feels amazing. People like Laurel and Stacie are the reason I feel so happy in my life now.”
The movie has all the ingredients—stellar cast, social consciousness, huge emotional pull—to place it right in the conversation for next year’s Oscars.
Watch the trailer here: