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Rooney Mara

Fulfilling Emotion & Sumptuous Animation Awaits in ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’

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

CHICAGO – In our short lives, what do we most need? It’s a hard question to answer sometimes, but the new animated film “Kubo and the Two Strings” does a memorable job of answering the query. The journey of Kubo, like Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz,” leads to a place where he needs to go.

Spike Jonze’s ‘Her’ is Masterful Commentary on Connection

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

How do we connect with other people? Why do we often push away those we need and stay with those we don’t? Why do we hold on to relationships long after they have stopped working? Is a physical relationship with no intellectual or emotional component somehow more valuable than one that can never be person-to-person but engages on a deeper level? And how do the ways we deal with love and loss impact the way we look at the rest of the world?

Mesmerizing, Romantic Power of ‘Ain’t Them Bodies Saints’

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

CHICAGO – Is a film automatically flawed if we can see its influences? We don’t do it as quickly in music, in which it’s often incredibly easy to determine a new artist’s favorite bands as a kid. Authors that pull from a notable and recognizable literary history are often lauded for doing so.

Rooney Mara, Jude Law Star in Steven Soderbergh’s Thrilling, Stellar ‘Side Effects’

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

CHICAGO – Steven Soderbergh has given interviews in which he claims that his latest film, the fantastic “Side Effects,” will be his last. As much as I have my doubts that this is true, it makes more sense after viewing the thriller starring Rooney Mara, Jude Law, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Channing Tatum. It plays like a proof of the auteur theory; like a “Greatest Hits” of Soderbergh’s career.

David Fincher’s Stunning ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’

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

CHICAGO – David Fincher’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” comes with waves of expectations from fans of the Stieg Larsson books, the Swedish original films, the director’s previous beloved works, and even drama over a certain national outlet breaking an agreed-upon embargo. Could it possibly live up to the hype? If you can let it go and just appreciate the film for what it is — absolutely.

David Fincher’s ‘The Social Network’ is a Rare Masterpiece

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

CHICAGO – So many recent films have been called “masterpieces” by critics that the word doesn’t have the power that it once did. And yet there’s sometimes no better way to describe a film. David Fincher’s “The Social Network,” starring Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, and Justin Timberlake is a masterpiece.

‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ Remake Plays Like a Bad Dream

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.0/5.0
Rating: 1.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Samuel Bayer’s remake of Wes Craven’s “A Nightmare on Elm Street” may be about repressed memories coming back in horrific ways, but it ironically ends up one of the least memorable films of 2010 to date. Not as abrasive as the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” remakes and not as dumb as “The Amityville Horror,” “A Nightmare on Elm Street” is merely forgettable; something never said about the influential original.

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  • [Trans]formation

    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.

  • Life Sucks

    CHICAGO – Let’s face it, life does suck. But what can we do about that? How do we survive? Lookingglass Theatre Company’s latest stage presentation tries to answer those thorny questions through a group of fellow travelers, flung together at a cabin retreat, trying to figure out why (indeed) “Life Sucks.”

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