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.
CHICAGO – Through their ownership of Touchstone and Hollywood Pictures, Disney has released a stellar wave of catalog titles this week, including at least three comedies that I would call great, two of John Cusack’s best performances, and an ’80s comedy that many people point to as one of the faves of their childhood. Pick your favorite.
CHICAGO – Joelle Carter was one of those actresses who was probably a familiar face through small roles in films like “American Pie 2” and “High Fidelity” or through a number of TV guest appearances, but it was her excellent work on the first season of the FX hit “Justified” that brought her to a new level of fame.
CHICAGO – There are some movies that are gut level great because of plot, atmosphere and pacing, and then there are movies like “Tamara Drewe,” which rely on the elusive star power of the performer to drive its engine. Gemma Arterton portrays the title character and lights up the screen with a vivid presence in this simple story of a woman’s homecoming.
CHICAGO – Director Stephen Frears is a storytelling legend who sneaks up on us. Besides his new film “Tamara Drewe,” which played at this year’s Chicago International Film Festival, Frears has a filmography that includes “The Queen,” “Mrs. Henderson Presents,” “High Fidelity,” “The Snapper,” “Hero,” “Prick Up Your Ears” and “My Beautiful Laundrette.”
CHICAGO – What man approaching or in middle age wouldn’t love to go back to when they were in their physical, sexual, and alcohol-imbibing prime and not just feel young again but perhaps even correct a few mistakes that led to a disappointing life?