CHICAGO – I’ll never forget the moment I became a fan of Ralph Fiennes. It was while watching the behind-the-scenes documentary on the “Prince of Egypt” DVD. He was voicing the scene where his character, Ramses, shouts at Moses across the Red Sea. As he stood next to the mic, Fiennes’ entire body underwent a transformation, as if he were summoning a storm that coursed through his veins. He then let out the sort of howl that could easily part water.
CHICAGO – I’ve never been a huge fan of “Camelot” but I love musicals of this era (including a few Lerner & Loewe hits like “Brigadoon” and “My Fair Lady”) and I adore both Richard Harris and Vanessa Redgrave. So I approached the recent Blu-ray release hoping that the many years since I had last seen “Camelot” would improve the film. Sadly, it’s still not one of my favorites even if this is a strong HD release.
CHICAGO – I have a sneaking suspicion that if The Weinstein Company had acquired this film and released it during the 2011 awards season, Rachel Weisz would currently be an Oscar nominee. After playing an assortment of vulnerable, photogenic damsels throughout her career, Weisz delivers her most potent and compelling work to date in Larysa Kondracki’s fact-based thriller.
CHICAGO – The plays of William Shakespeare, influencing culture and morality for over 400 years, continue to open themselves up to new interpretations and settings. Ralph Fiennes directs and stars in a film version adaptation of “Coriolanus,” set against the modern day machinations of politics and war.
CHICAGO – Kicking off our annual series of year-end film features, we begin with the ensemble players, the supporting cast members who provided the necessary dramatic support to allow their leading men and women to shine.
CHICAGO – Roland Emmerich has been commonly mocked for his larger-than-life blockbusters that include “Godzilla,” “The Day After Tomorrow,” and “2012.” I would rather sit through a marathon of all three of those works back-to-back-to-back than suffer through “Anonymous” one more time. While those movies have undeniable flaws, they do so on a grand scale common with the words guilty pleasure. There’s absolutely nothing pleasurable about this self-serious and remarkably stupid drama.
CHICAGO – Some of the most wonderful diversity within the 47th Annual Chicago International Film Festival can be found in the mid-section of this year’s line-up as virtually-guaranteed Oscar nominees screen next to much-smaller films from around the world. Hopefully, you made it out to see one of our recommendations from the opening act of the fest and are eager for more.
CHICAGO – Rachel Weisz elevates the harrowing true story of “The Whistleblower,” a pull-no-punches drama about a disturbing international conspiracy to cover up a sex trafficking ring involving the men tasked with protecting the innocent who turned to exploiting them. This is a graphic, dark, violent piece of drama, as it should be given its subject matter, but it’s the work of one of our best working actresses that truly makes it worth venturing into the darkness.
CHICAGO – In our latest drama edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 40 admit-two passes up for grabs to the advance Chicago screening of “The Whistleblower” with Rachel Weisz!
CHICAGO – Vanessa Redgrave’s role in “Letters to Juliet” could not have come at a more poignant time in her life. She plays a starry-eyed woman in her twilight years, desperate to reconnect with her childhood sweetheart. He’s played by Franco Nero, the man Redgrave fell for on the set of 1969’s “Camelot.” She was Guinevere and Nero was Lancelot. Yet they didn’t marry until 2006.