PARK CITY, Utah – Film festivals naturally encourage those who write about them to look for themes. A few years ago it was the end of the world. This year, it seems to be the coming-of-age story (“Kill Your Darlings,” “The Spectacular Now,” “Mud,” “Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes,” “The Way, Way Back”) on the surface and the journey from home a little deeper.
CHICAGO – The best film of the first quarter of 2011 was a sublime little gem from the great Thomas McCarthy (“The Station Agent,” “The Visitor”) called “Win Win.” The clever, character-driven dramedy with Paul Giamatti and Amy Ryan was recently-released on Blu-ray and DVD, and it deserves to find (and very likely will with word-of-mouth) a loyal audience on the home market. This is a great movie.
CHICAGO – Writer/Director Thomas McCarthy makes films with that very unique attribute in which the characters completely feel like they exist before the opening scene and after the credits roll. As he did in “The Station Agent” and “The Visitor,” he has told another unique story that is both moving and also believable at the same time, an increasingly-rare combination. “Win Win” is the first great film of 2011.
CHICAGO – Writer/director Thomas McCarthy has helmed three motion pictures and already shot to the top of most lists of the best directors working today. He finds the truth in unusual situations like the trio of friends in “The Station Agent” or the unexpected romance of “The Visitor.”
CHICAGO – In our latest comedy edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 30 admit-two passes up for grabs to the advance Chicago screening of the new film “Win Win” starring Oscar nominees Paul Giamatti and Amy Ryan!
CHICAGO – There are few character actors in the history of cinema more mesmerizing and fearless than Philip Seymour Hoffman. He’s created some of the most memorable characters ever to grace the screen: from the sexually arrested Allen in “Happiness” and the obsessed playwright Caden Cotard in “Synecdoche, New York” to the electrifying title role in “Capote.”
CHICAGO – There are not many better showcases for an actor or actress than HBO’s amazing “In Treatment,” one of the best dramas of the last several years, which returns tonight, October 25th, 2010, for another round of character-driven therapy.
CHICAGO – One of the best working actors takes his skills behind camera in Philip Seymour Hoffman’s “Jack Goes Boating,” a character drama about one couple forming as another relationship falls apart at the same time. This gentle story of modern relationships is a subtle, slow-moving drama of moments and repercussions that works due to the talents of its cast and quality of its source material despite a few notable flaws.
CHICAGO – When Philip Seymour Hoffman and John Ortiz were working on Bob Glaudini’s dramatic play “Jack Goes Boating,” they mentioned the cinematic potential of the project to each other on multiple occasions. Through a series of events, “Boating” would become Hoffman’s directorial debut, opening in Chicago this Friday, September 24th, 2010.
CHICAGO – Paul Greengrass suffered the first failure of his career with the disappointing “Green Zone,” a film that flopped with both critics and audiences early in 2010. As Kathyrn Bigelow was winning awards for her realistic examination of life behind enemy lines in the Middle East with “The Hurt Locker,” people dismissed Matt Damon’s long-delayed take on the failure of the war in Iraq.