CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
CHICAGO – There is a circumstantial and frank presentation of abortion in the new Paul Weitz film “Grandma,” and it probably could not have resulted the way it did if the story wasn’t anchored by the great Lily Tomlin. She portrays the title character, helping her granddaughter get to the procedure.
CHICAGO – Actor Sam Eliott will make you smile. The distinctive voice, his famous mustache and his character presence in a film or TV show increases any potential in the production. He recently was in Chicago with director Paul Weitz, as they teamed up in the film “Grandma,” starring the incomparable Lily Tomlin.
When I expressed excitement over the fact that Robert Altman’s stunning “Nashville” was being released in a Criterion Collection Blu-ray edition a few months back, a colleague asked me why I loved the film and I had trouble verbalizing my feelings about Altman’s sprawling, brilliant tapestry of characters. Watching the excellent new documentary about the making-of the film on the Criterion release makes it clear that I’m not alone.
CHICAGO – Tina Fey, love her. Paul Rudd, like his work, he’s a Judd Apatow guy. Wallace Shawn in “The Princess Bride,” exquisite. Lily Tomlin is a comedy legend. All these great and interesting performers participated in “Admission,” for which they all get an “F.”
CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 40 pairs of movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of the new comedy “Admission” starring Tina Fey and Paul Rudd!
CHICAGO – I wasn’t a big fan of “Last Man Standing” when it premiered over a year ago but it looks like a landmark program when compared to the vastly inferior new sitcom with which it has been paired, the new “Malibu Country” with Reba (who apparently goes by one name now) and Lily Tomlin. Both shows hearken back to the old-fashioned TGIF brand of programming, complete with laugh tracks and borderline offensive cliches.
CHICAGO – Showtime’s new comedy series “Web Therapy” with Lisa Kudrow suffers from two notable problems. One, what works in brief installments online rarely translates to longer ones on the small screen.
CHICAGO – Legendary comedienne Lily Tomlin has made a career on her ability to hear voices. Whether in the form of the pestilential operator Ernestine, the aristocratic Madame Lupe, or precocious 6-year-old Edith Ann, Tomlin has engrossed audiences with her unique approach to character humor for nearly four decades.
CHICAGO – Hayao Miyazaki has made some of the most magical, wonderful films in the history of animation. He is easily one of the medium’s most influential and talented filmmakers and one need look no further than this week’s special edition releases of “Castle in the Sky,” “Kiki’s Delivery Service,” “My Neighbor Totoro,” and “Ponyo,” the last of which comes in a Blu-ray/DVD combo. Pick them all up.
CHICAGO – The second season of ‘Damages,’ recently released on DVD, was still quality television but felt like a bit of a letdown after the spectacular first season of this amazing show. Naturally, expectations are high for the premiere of season three.