FreewayDirector: Matthew Bright, Reese Witherspoon, Kiefer Sutherland, Brooke Shields
In this postmodern exploitation flick loosely based on "Little Red Riding Hood," the uneducated daughter of a drug-addicted prostitute flees the foster-care system in search of her long-lost grandmother but meets up instead with a serial killer. Vanessa (Reese Witherspoon), a nearly illiterate firebug and serial shoplifter, desperately clings to normalcy even though her mother turns tricks, does drugs, and manages to ignore the fact that the girl's stepfather Michael T. Weiss has been abusing her for years. When both of her parents get arrested, Vanessa steals the car of her family-services caseworker (Conchata Ferrell) and heads up Interstate 5 in search of her paternal grandmother, who's never met her. Car problems force her to accept a ride from Bob Wolverton (Kiefer Sutherland), a youth counselor who uses charm and sympathy to get the girl to open up. Confessing the sordid details of her childhood to Bob, Vanessa is shocked when he suddenly declares that she's one of the "garbage people" and that he plans to murder her and have sex with her corpse. Bob, it turns out, is the "I-5 Murderer", who's been slaughtering young prostitutes in the Los Angeles area. Thanks to a gun borrowed from her fiancé, Vanessa manages to turn the tables on Bob, shooting him repeatedly and leaving him for dead. He survives, Vanessa is arrested, and the two meet up again in court -- with her unrepentant, even though the police disbelieve her story, him flanked by his prim wife (Brooke Shields) and the righteous indignation of the American legal system. Locked up in the juvie for psychological evaluation, Vanessa gets in touch with her wild side and eventually escapes, heading off to her fateful meeting with grandma. Although Freeway was originally filmed for HBO, vigorously positive critical response eventually earned it a theatrical release. Alanna Ubach, who portrays Vanessa's nemesis/accomplice Mesquita, would go on to appear with Witherspoon in Legally Blonde. Freeway also features two Clueless alumni: Dan Hedaya, as a police detective, and Brittany Murphy, as the disfigured lesbian who befriends Vanessa in lock-up. Michael T. Weiss, who previously appeared in gay indie Jeffrey, appears in both Freeway and its sequel, Freeway 2: Confessions of a Trickbaby.
- Release Date:
- Original Release:
- Republic Pictures
Cast & Crew
|David Barrett||Makeup Special Effects|
|T. Bird||Asst. Director|
|John Carl Buechler||Makeup Special Effects|
|Danny Elfman||Score Composer|
|John Foster||Makeup Special Effects|
|Gerry Gershman||Musical Direction/Supervision|
|Troy M. Gilbert||Stunts|
|Dan Halsted||Executive Producer|
|Tito Larriva||Score Composer|
|Merrie Lawson||Costumes/Costume Designer|
|Oliver Stone||Executive Producer|
|Steven J Venezia||Consultant/advisor|
|Pam Warner||Production Designer|
|Ed White||Sound/Sound Designer|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Provocatively and unusually the film Freeway is, it is among one of the great surprises I have had in my movie-watching experience. Brutally straightforward. It gets straight to point without pulling any cheap shots. What I did not expect in this film was Reese Witherspoon's Oscar caliber performance. That was some performance. Her attitude is stirringly amazing. Reese plays so well as she easily switches around her feelings in any situation that she gets trapped into. Very interesting characters that revolved around Vanessa Lutz. Incredible story with elements of 'out of nowhere' unpredictability. Almost a feel of watching a Coen film, but Matthew Bright develops a class of his own. Whatever a prison film I have seen that involves 'making a stand for yourself', Freeway tops it. The pace is superb and right to the point. Nothing drags, nothing loses the feeling of being into it. Keifer Sutherland helped to elevate the film to another level of creepiness. A Charming version of the Little Red Riding Hood in a sick and twisted way. Freeway opened my eyes into the realm of a different landscape that hasn't been explored deeply enough before. The use of two detectives in this film is marvelously done. If there is such a great white trash story, Freeway is the it. Freeway is a perennial winner.
In my opinion this is Reese Witherspoon's best movie. Funny and disturbing is the best way to describe this movie. The charm of the main character(Vanessa Lutz) is infectious. Although a dark movie, it is a fun movie to watch.