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Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Film Review: ‘Beyond the Lights’ Has a Respect for Storytelling

Beyond the Lights with Gugu Mbatha-Raw

CHICAGO – Writer/Director Gina Prince-Bythewood, the creator of the cult favorite “Love & Basketball,” is back with another original story that she created, an intimate and romantic perspective on a singer on the path to nowhere, despite superstar-level fame. Gugu Mbatha-Raw stars as that singer in “Beyond the Lights.”

Interview: Actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw is Directed ‘Beyond the Lights’

CHICAGO – The show business life is ripe for drama, and the new film “Beyond the Lights” explores the difficulties of the the superstar reaches of the music business, through a Beyoncé-type singer. Actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw plays Noni, and the film’s director is Gina Prince-Bythewood (“Love & Basketball”).

Slideshow: 50th Chicago International Film Festival Opening Night, Black Perspectives Gala

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Colin Farrell of ‘Miss Julie’ at the 50th Chicago International Film Festival.

CHICAGO – The 2014 edition of the 50th Chicago International Film Festival kicked off on October 9th with a spectacular presentation of “Miss Julie,” directed by the legendary Liv Ullmann, featuring Colin Ferrell and Jessica Chastain. The following evening was the Black Perspective Gala, at which the spotlight was on “Beyond the Lights,” starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 25 Pairs of Passes to Film Festival Hit ‘Belle’ With Gugu Mbatha-Raw

CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 25 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the film festival hitBelle” starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw (“Dr. Who”) and Tom Wilkinson (“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”)!

TV Review: FOX’s ‘Touch’ With Kiefer Sutherland Comes With Heavy Hand

CHICAGO – With elements of “Pay It Forward,” “The Number 23,” “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” classic inspirational TV fare like “Touched by an Angel,” and the later seasons of “Heroes,” FOX’s new drama, “Touch,” is an absolute mess.

Film Review: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts Repurpose ‘Larry Crowne’

CHICAGO – Movie stars need certain types of films to keep their star power safe and audiences expect certain things from them, with limitations, to create summer movie comfort. Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts fill the bill in “Larry Crowne.”

TV Review: J.J. Abrams-Produced ‘Undercovers’ is Stylish, Familiar

CHICAGO – The timing of “Undercovers” might be inopportune — the notion of CIA super spies adding to the deficit by overextending their expense accounts — yet the show itself is bright and exciting with beautiful actors and settings. But despite the presence of J.J. Abrams of “Lost,” it doesn’t break any new ground.

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  • Book of Merman, The

    CHICAGO – One potential theater-goer loves the “The Book of Mormon.” The other would rather stay home and watch old Ethel Merman YouTube videos. Pride Films & Theater offers the ultimate solution by combining both in a campy musical, “The Book of Merman.” Yep, two Elder characters from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints meets foghorn singer Ethel Merman.

  • Men, Women & Children with Kaitlyn Dever

    CHICAGO – In “Men, Women & Children,” director Jason Reitman not-so-audaciously reflects onto viewers their world of silent screens and awkward impersonal interactions. As many stories (“Don Jon,” “Disconnect”) have taken on the torch of showing how we are, gasp! — connected to the world yet disconnected from those close to us — Reitman’s tale is just another one for the batch.

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