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Lauren Ambrose

Lauren Ambrose Shines in Heartbreaking Indie ‘About Sunny’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – In the annals of bad parenting portrayed on film, the heroine of Bryan Wizemann’s 2011 indie drama is a special case indeed. Though we watch helplessly as she makes countless bad decisions guaranteed to send her young daughter to intensive therapy, we don’t regard her as a sinister figure on the order of Monique’s monstrous matriarch in “Precious.” Our gaze is one of empathy.

Mike Birbiglia Steps Up in ‘Sleepwalk with Me’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

CHICAGO – It’s exciting to witness a breakthrough with a new film artist. The comedian Mike Birbiglia has adapted his one-man show, “Sleepwalk with Me,” into a movie, and the result is a naturalistic performance piece that plays both like a documentary and a Woody Allen film during the “Annie Hall” period. Birbiglia gets a little help from some friends like Lauren Ambrose, Kirsten Schaal, Wyatt Cenac and Amy Schumer.

Paul Rudd, Jennifer Aniston Take Funny Trip to Hippie Nirvana in ‘Wanderlust’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – David Wain’s “Wanderlust” is a deeply flawed movie. The female lead is woefully underwritten and the script pretty much falls apart at the end as characters do things they wouldn’t do and it rushes to its credits to wrap everything up in an awkward montage. But here’s the thing – it’s also DAMN funny.

Paul Giamatti Does More With Less in ‘Cold Souls’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

CHICAGO – How is the best way to discover the elusiveness of the soul? For Paul Giamatti, playing himself, the key is to store the legendary organ into the deep freeze, in his new absurdist comedy, “Cold Souls.”

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Drunk History Seasons 1 & 2, 2014

    CHICAGO – The awesomeness of history loses any of its stuffiness with the incredibly fun, indeed educational show “Drunk History” from Comedy Central, its two seasons now released on DVD. Hosted by its creator Derek Waters, the show is a celebration of various historic figures and their under-appreciated true tales, as expressed by funny people narrating in the universal language of inebriation; their recounts are then reenacted by famous actors working with their given dialogue, dressed with the comic cheapness of a bloated biopic.

  • Happy Christmas

    CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.

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