CHICAGO – Mention the name Harry Lennix, and images of his many character roles are bound to emerge – Harold Cooper in the TV series “The Blacklist,” General Swanwick from “Batman v Superman” and Commissioner Blades from Spike Lee’s recent “Chi-Raq.” The deeply knowledgeable Lennix brings his years of dramatic expertise, as he directs the Congo Square Theatre Company’s world premiere stage play “A Small Oak Tree Runs Red.’
CHICAGO – Every year, the movie stars, actor/actresses and filmmakers come knocking, and HollywoodChicago.com is there to answer. Film Critics Brian Tallerico and Patrick McDonald have combined their best-of interviews for 2013, and it’s an intriguing and eclectic mix.
CHICAGO – In one of the more intriguing ways to frame the 1960s civil rights movement, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” places the context of that African American struggle through the filter of family dynamics, focusing on the father as a butler in the White House, through six presidents.
CHICAGO – Director Lee Daniels is on a mission of education. With now two generations removed from the height of the 1960s civil rights movement, Daniels hopes to revive and highlight that history in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” – the sensitive and emotional story of one family’s journey through the winds of change.
CHICAGO – In person, Oscar winner Forest Whitaker is a man at peace. His talent has created a demeanor of a guru – soft spoken with transcendent thoughts. His latest film is “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” in which he portrays the title character. As a black man caught between two eras in American history, Forest Whitaker does relate.
CHICAGO – It’s a shame that a forgettable action flick forced Lee Daniels’s Oscar-winning drama to change its title from “Push” to “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire.” It’s a terribly ungainly title, brimming with wordy self-importance. What if other films did the same thing? I shudder at the thought of, “An Education: Based on the Memoir by Lynn Barber” or “A Serious Man: Based on an Idea Concocted by Roderick Jaynes.”
CHICAGO – The celebrities do come to Chicago, sometimes to sit through the grinding interrogation of HollywoodChicago.com’s Patrick McDonald. The Lucky Seven of 2009 comprise the best of last year, interview-wise.
CHICAGO – The final scene of Lee Daniels’ “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” ends with a dedication that the film is for “precious girls everywhere”.
CHICAGO – One of the most talked about films this year is the Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey backed “Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire.” Essential to the film is Gabourey Sidibe, who plays the title character of Precious.
CHICAGO – Backed by industry giants Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry, the new film “Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire,” had a red carpet premiere at the Chicago International Film Festival on October 14th.