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 – The poignant identity film “Moonlight” was named the 2016 Best Picture by the Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA), in an announcement on December 15th. The film also took home the Best Director (Barry Jenkins) and Best Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali) honors. “Manchester by the Sea” got the most honors, with four, from a voting survey of the CFCA.
CHICAGO – Tis the season for earnest character studies, and Casey Affleck in “Manchester by the Sea” has a doozy. Portraying a Boston guy with a mountain of sadness within, Affleck harbors the range of emotions like a coiled snake ready to strike, but manages to keep it all undercover.
CHICAGO – Sam Raimi’s “Oz the Great and Powerful” starts so promisingly. The full-frame black-and-white scenes that open the film have a clever charm as they introduce us to the title character (James Franco) and whisk him off to the legendary land of witches and talking scarecrows. And that scene where the film expands as he reaches his fantasy land is a beauty.
CHICAGO – “Oz the Great and Powerful” is a great and powerful visual and 3D experience. It expands the landscape of what cinema can produce in a visceral and evolutionary way. But a great film also needs a great story, and this Land of Oz tale is not equivalent to the awe-inspiring imagery.
CHICAGO – “Take This Waltz” is one of my most personally divisive films of the year. What I mean is that for every element of the movie that I truly adore, there’s one that I loathe. In the former category, there’s Michelle Williams’ striking performance and director Sarah Polley’s eye for color. In the latter category, there’s Polley’s script, one that simply never resonates as truthful and carries some of the worst dialogue of the year. There are elements here that work but every one is balanced by something that drives me crazy.
CHICAGO – Sarah Polley’s “Take This Waltz” both illustrates its director’s uniquely confident vision as a filmmaker and her room to grow as a screenwriter. Despite the best efforts from a very talented cast led by a fearless performance from Michelle Williams, Polley’s film is frustrating in its inability to reflect the real world.
HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Pairs of Passes to ‘Take This Waltz’ With Michelle Williams, Seth RogenSubmitted by HollywoodChicago.com on June 21, 2012 - 10:39pm
CHICAGO – Last year’s slate of Best Actress Oscar-nominees was among the weakest in recent memory. There was no clear front-runner since there was no picture worthy of the exemplary actress at its core. From Meryl Streep in “The Iron Lady” to Glenn Close in “Albert Nobbs,” 2011 deserves to be remembered as the year of great female performances trapped in subpar material.
CHICAGO – This 26-image slideshow contains a selection of ABC-provided red carpet arrival images from the 84th Annual Academy Awards, which were handed out on February 26th, 2012 on ABC. Celebrities featured include Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Nick Nolte, Shailene Woodley, Rooney Mara, Michelle Williams, Meryl Streep, Berenice Bejo, Natalie Portman, Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Lopez, and many more.
CHICAGO – This 37-image slideshow contains a selection of NBC-provided images from the 69th Annual Golden Globes, which were handed out on January 15th, 2012 on NBC. Celebrities featured include Ricky Gervais, Laura Dern, Michelle Williams, Kate Beckinsale, Meryl Streep, Claire Danes, Jean Dujardin, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Emily Blunt, Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Madonna, Peter Dinklage, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, and many more.