I love period movies, especially those based on true stories. I especially enjoy movies about the 60’s and 70’s, so I was excited when I was offered the chance to screen Roe v. Wade in advance of its release next week.
I’ve heard about this movie for awhile, but honestly hadn’t paid much attention since we’re not in the industry anymore. I watched it without reading up on it, so I wasn’t sure if it was going to be a documentary or narrative. While it turned out to be narrative, at times it felt more like a documentary. It reminded me of the series on History Channel that mix together historical facts and reenactment. In this case, it’s the characters who share the facts.
Roe v. Wade is beautifully shot with attention to detail in sets, hairstyles, and fashion. The actors did a great job of capturing the talk and mannerisms of the time. I was truly transported into time. The execution of the story, however, was complicated. I get that they were trying to show both sides of the story. I applaud that. But there are so many characters, and it jumps from story to story, making it very hard to follow. New characters are constantly being added with little introduction to who they are. Also, in their attempt to make it balanced, I found the pro-choice characters to be better developed. While I thought Stacey Dash did a great job as Dr. Mildred Jefferson , I was never clear what her role in the fight was. What exactly did she do?
Roe v. Wade is probably not going to set the world afire. It won’t likely change anyone’s view about abortion. However, I think it will have the effect of inciting interest in the original case. I found myself wanting to research to learn more about the individuals represented and their stories. I wanted to learn more about Dr. Bernard Nathanson, Dr. Jefferson, and even the two young lawyers who represented Norma McCorvey.
A good movie makes you think and leaves you wanting more. Roe v. Wade does that. It releases next Friday and is available for pre-orders on iTunes.
I received a complimentary screener of this movie. Opinions expressed are my own.