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Michelle Williams

Story Dims Visionary ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – “Oz the Great and Powerful” is a great and powerful visual and 3D experience. It expands the landscape of what cinema can produce in a visceral and evolutionary way. But a great film also needs a great story, and this Land of Oz tale is not equivalent to the awe-inspiring imagery.

‘Take This Waltz’ with Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Sarah Polley’s “Take This Waltz” both illustrates its director’s uniquely confident vision as a filmmaker and her room to grow as a screenwriter. Despite the best efforts from a very talented cast led by a fearless performance from Michelle Williams, Polley’s film is frustrating in its inability to reflect the real world.

Michelle Williams is Luminous in ‘My Week With Marilyn’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Bringing the popular culture past back to life in a movie is always a tricky proposition. No matter what, there are always inevitable comparisons to the real thing. They don’t come any more really famous than Marilyn Monroe, and Michelle Williams takes on a portrayal that exemplifies, honors and humanizes the iconic star in “My Week with Marilyn.” 

‘Meek’s Cutoff’ Turns Physical Journey Into Riveting Spiritual Drama

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 5.0/5.0
Rating: 5.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Very few films have ever conveyed an impending sense of doom as successfully as Kelly Reichardt’s stunningly accomplished “Meek’s Cutoff,” a journey into the past that has resonance for any era. Which way do you go when you’ve lost the map? Who do you trust when you can’t see beyond the horizon? How does man simply keep moving forward when it’s so unclear where we’re going?

Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams Are Heartbreakingly Real in ‘Blue Valentine’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 5.0/5.0
Rating: 5.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Derek Cianfrance’s “Blue Valentine,” my pick last month for the 9th best film of 2010, is a devastatingly genuine representation of the first and final chapters of a marriage. It is a powerful drama, partially made so by a fantastic script, but mostly due to two of the best performances of the year from Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. Don’t miss it.

Take Trip to Riveting ‘Shutter Island’ With Leonardo DiCaprio

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 5.0/5.0
Rating: 5.0/5.0

CHICAGO – “Shutter Island” is a riveting trip through a cinematic funhouse led by one of the best filmmakers of all time in Martin Scorsese, who fully employs the copious skills of his most talented collaborators including star Leonardo DiCaprio. It is a technical masterpiece that gets under your skin and stays there for days.

Tepid Con Job Spoils Sexual Intrigue in ‘Deception’ With Ewan McGregor

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2/5CHICAGO – Despite its timid title, “Deception” has all the right ingredients for a decent tale of mystery: a strong premise, sound acting and the famous femme fatale. It even starts with a promising conviction: How does a background player in life deal with initiation into a secret society?

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Drunk History Seasons 1 & 2, 2014

    CHICAGO – The awesomeness of history loses any of its stuffiness with the incredibly fun, indeed educational show “Drunk History” from Comedy Central, its two seasons now released on DVD. Hosted by its creator Derek Waters, the show is a celebration of various historic figures and their under-appreciated true tales, as expressed by funny people narrating in the universal language of inebriation; their recounts are then reenacted by famous actors working with their given dialogue, dressed with the comic cheapness of a bloated biopic.

  • Happy Christmas

    CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.

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