Won't Back Down - Review

ACTIVIST DUO Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal attempt to reform the public eduction system in Won't Back Down

Most of the muckraking Hollywood movies we think of as classic tend to sketch their dramas inside very clean and satisfying moral lines.Norma Rae was about a feisty union organizer fighting for basic workers' rights, All the President's Men was about two fearless newspaper reporters bringing down a corrupt president, and Erin Brockovich was about a heroic ordinary woman battling corporate malfeasance. Won't Back Down, a drama about the quasi-disaster that is today's American public education system, would very much like to be a Norma Rae-style lump-in-the-throat rabble rouser, and to a good degree it succeeds. Yet the movie — to its credit — never denies the murky complexity of what's gone wrong in our schools. The moral lines here are by no means clean or easy to read. The film rightly pins our educational malaise on a great many diverse causes, from students mired in videogames to bad teachers to overly stodgy curriculum to good teachers who have sunk, over the years, into a kind of grinding hopelessness that just about anyone in their position might share. Read More...



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