Won’t Back Down is a drama movie starring Academy Award Winners: Viola Davis, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Holly Hunter. In this movie Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal play the character of two mothers who is determined to create a change in their children’s school. They will face an entrenched bureaucracy and will risk everything that they have to bring the best future for their children. Won’t Back Down is directed by Daniel Barnz and was shown in theatres last Friday September 28th 2012. Let’s take a look at a couple of reviews for the movie: Won’t Back Down
“Won’t Back Down Doesn’t Really Make The Grade
Does Won’t Back Down offer a teachable moment or is it just plain union bashing?
It’s a question Canadian audiences will no doubt ponder with some perplexity as they consider the story of a mother determined to rescue her dyslexic daughter from a U.S. public school system that is failing her badly, along with pretty much every other child.
Jamie Fitzpatrick (Maggie Gyllenhaal) joins forces with teacher Nona Alberts (Viola Davis) in a long-shot bureaucratic battle to wrest control of their school from uncaring staff who, because of tenure, refuse any support of pupils past the 3 o’clock bell.
“Have you ever heard about those mothers who lift a one-ton truck off their kids? They’re nothing compared to me,” says Jamie, in a throw-down-the-gauntlet moment.
Nona’s problems are of a similar ilk. She’s an award-winning teacher who has long ago lost her joy for teaching in a system that has too many kids in every class and that is overseen by a bureaucracy hell-bent on stifling change. Her son, Cody, is similarly on the path to academic failure.”
You can read the rest of the review at Toronto Star
Here’s another take on this movie written by Peter Rainer
“Won’t Back Down: A Movie That Tackles Social Issues
“Won’t Back Down” is about two mothers who go up against a failing inner-city school in Pittsburgh, and it opens with the inevitable “inspired by a true story” preamble. This is supposed to give the movie the patina of being “more” than a movie, although it’s not clear what “true story” it’s actually “inspired” by. The film, directed and co-written by Daniel Barnz, is being positioned as an education-reform version of “Norma Rae,” except here it’s the unions that get tarred.
Maggie Gyllenhaal is Jamie Fitzpatrick, a rowdy single mother who works two jobs and is fed up with the way her dyslexic 8-year-old daughter, Malia (Emily Alyn Lind), is being educated. Malia’s iPhone-toting instructor (Nancy Bach), who might as well be wearing a sign reading “Bad Teacher,” explains to Jamie that union rules prevent her from helping Malia after class. Jamie’s attempts to get her daughter transferred to the class of Good Teacher Nona Alberts (Viola Davis), whose own son is failing in school, are stonewalled by the smirky school principal (Bill Nunn).
In desperation, Jamie spearheads a movement to create a new nonunion charter school by rounding up signatures from parents and teachers. Nona gradually gets with the program and, together with Jamie, rallies the troops for what is, in effect, an enactment of the much-touted “parent trigger” law.”
Check out the rest of the review at csmonitor.com
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