CHICAGO – After acknowledging that the rewards of reality are infinitely preferable to the shallow pleasures of a nostalgic dreamworld in his Oscar-winning crowd-pleaser, “Midnight in Paris,” Woody Allen’s tirelessly neurotic psyche appears to be more calm and serene than ever before. Perhaps his compulsion to make one picture a year has finally brought him some sort of therapeutic catharsis.
CHICAGO – Hollywood Chicago staff writer Matt Fagerholm’s independent film blog, Indie Outlook, published an exclusive review of Neil Berkeley’s charming documentary, “Beauty is Embarrassing,” which opened Friday, December 14th, at the Gene Siskel Film Center. The film explores the life and career of eccentric artist Wayne White, best known for his Emmy-winning set design on “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse.”
CHICAGO – In “Liberal Arts,” the magical new film written and directed by Josh Radnor, characters have conversations that are actually worth listening to about subjects that are actually worth discussing. It reminds viewers of just how flat and perfunctory movie dialogue can become when it only serves to move along the plot.
CHICAGO – Writer/director Woody Allen continues his film travelogues in “To Rome with Love,” touring The Eternal City with four separate vignettes. An all-star cast – including Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Alec Baldwin, Penélope Cruz and Woody himself – hit and miss with this varying blend of stories.
CHICAGO – Just as Groucho Marx refused to join any club that would have him as a member, Woody Allen would most likely turn down any invite from an adoring fan club. He’s repeatedly voiced his belief that he doesn’t have a high regard for his own work, and recently told documentarian Robert B. Weide that he could live a life devoid of cinema as long as there was a sports team to follow.
CHICAGO – It takes a special kind of talent to appear wholly natural on-camera. Delivering dialogue with dramatic inflection is easy.
CHICAGO – I’ve long said that one of the main reasons that Blu-ray didn’t take off as quickly as people thought it would is because too many of movie lover’s favorite movies weren’t available on the format. It took years to get “Alien,” “Star Wars,” and even “Back to the Future.” “Jaws” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark” still aren’t in HD. Well, a wave of catalog releases last week that included some of my personal favorite films ever made should help the format overall. With several Oscar winners and some of the most influential filmmaking of all time, this is an amazing catalog wave. Buy all six.
CHICAGO – Nominees in the Feature Film category for this year’s Directors Guild Awards were announced this morning and featured very familiar names, with one that may come as a surprise. While four of the five nominees were also nominated for Best Director at the Golden Globes this year, David Fincher got the nod from the Directors Guild Awards.
CHICAGO – The announcements have been made and the nominees for the Writers Guild Awards for 2011 are set. Featuring six categories, two in film and four in television, the WGA award nominees range from first timers to names we have definitely heard before.
CHICAGO – At times, Woody Allen’s new film releases stink like an old glove, and thankfully there are times when they fit like an old glove. His latest is “Midnight in Paris,” just released on Blu-ray and DVD. This is classic romantic Woody, set in the City of Lights, and featuring Owen Wilson taking on the Allen persona. It’s also featured in my Top 10 Films of 2011.