Academy Awards

Flashback Interview: Jada Pinkett Smith on Her Life and Times

Jada Pinkett Smith, photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – The person in the middle of The Slap seen around the world – upon Chris Rock by Will Smith at the 94th Academy Awards – was Will’s wife of 24 years, the actor and musician Jada Pinkett Smith. She had shaved her head due to a diagnosis of alopecia, and Chris Rock raised Will Smith’s ire by making a joke about Pinkett Smith appearing in “G.I. Jane 2,” a reference to her military grade style. Jada Pinkett Smith was photographed in 2008 by Joe Arce and interviewed in 2015 by Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com.

Slideshow: Road to the Oscars … Nine Exclusive Portraits for the 94th Academy Awards

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Oscar Host Amy Schumer on June 14th, 2012.

CHICAGO – Hollywood is rolling out the Red Carpet for the 94th Academy Awards on Sunday, March 27th, and before the big night it’s time for an Exclusive Oscar Portrait Slideshow.

Oscar Week: HollywoodChicago.com 2022 Oscar Predictions

CHICAGO – Here we go again. Welcome to the annual Oscar Predictions on HollywoodChicago.com, for 2022 (the 94th Academy Awards). The film/entertainment contributors – Patrick McDonald, Spike Walters and Jon Lennon Espino – are joined by guest Michael Glover Smith, the director of the upcoming film “Relative.”



Film Feature: HollywoodChicago.com 2020 Oscar Predictions

CHICAGO – Let’s make this important! The 92nd Academy Awards are on Sunday, February 9th, 2020, and HC.com film/entertainment contributors Patrick McDonald, Michael “Spike” Walters and Jon Lennon Espino are ready to add their Swami-like powers to eight major categories, plus three wild cards. Let the predicting begin.

Oscar Week: HollywoodChicago.com Predictions for 2019 Academy Awards

CHICAGO – Time to fill out the Oscar prediction ballots! The 91st Academy Awards are on Sunday, February 24th, 2019, and HC film critics Patrick McDonald, Michael “Spike” Walters and Jon Lennon Espino are ready to add their prognosticating powers to eight major categories, plus three wild cards. Let the predicting begin.

Oscar Week: Co-Directors Explain How ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’

Ralph Breaks the Internet

CHICAGO – The Best Animated Film category at the 91st Academy Awards honor both these visual treats and their status in the new Golden Age. The visual density of today’s animation reaches a new height in a rare Walt Disney Studio sequel, “Ralph Breaks the Internet.” This is a follow-up to “Wreck-It Ralph,” a huge animated hit film. Returning to guide the sequel, which has Wreck-It Ralph “inside” the internet, are co-directors Phil Johnston and Rich Moore.

Oscar Week: Podtalks with Nominated Best Director Adam McKay on His Filmmaker Philosophy

Vice, Adam McKay

CHICAGO – Director Adam McKay has come to the meatiest part of his long and successful career. He began with comedy in TV and film, and was first known for hilarious movies like “Anchorman,” “Talledega Nights,” and “Step Brothers.” Recently, he has moved into more complex filmmaking, like the highly touted (and Oscar nominated for Best Picture and Director) “The Big Short” in 2015, and this year’s “Vice,” nominated again for Best Picture, Best Director and for his Best Original Screenplay.

Oscar Week: Directors Betsy West & Julie Cohen on Their Nominated Documentary ‘RBG’

RBG Ruth Bader Ginsburg

CHICAGO – Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the notorious “RBG,” has been a steady and abiding voice on that high court since 1993. But how much do we really know about this unassuming and highly admired jurist? Co-directors Betsy West and Julie Cohen answer this question in their documentary “RBG.” The film is one of five nominees competing for gold in the Feature Documentary category, to be given on Sunday at the 91st Academy Awards.

Film Review: Relatable Togetherness Highlight 2019 Oscar Nominated Animated Short Films

2019 Oscar Animated Shorts

CHICAGO – The relationships in our lives affect who we are, whether they are momentary or long term. Interestingly, like the Oscar nominated Live Action shorts, the Animated Short Film nominees have that similar connective themes in four of the five stories. Family relationships, son-to-mother, mother-to-daughter, daughter-to-father and parents-to-child, are explored in poignant and expressive ways. The Landmark Century Centre Cinema in Chicago are currently showing all the shorts in one program. Click here for more information.

Film Review: Childhood is a Major Theme in 2019 Oscar Nominated Live Action Short Films

2019 Oscar Live Action Shorts

CHICAGO – There are four films among the five Oscar-nominated Live Action Shorts for 2019 that have childhood in their theme, and they all are telling about situations in the more in-your-face dark circumstances of life today (or in the case of one film, 25 years ago). The Landmark Century Centre Cinema in Chicago are currently showing all the shorts in one program. Click here for more information.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Offer, The

    CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on “The Morning Mess” with Dan Baker on WBGR-FM (Monroe, Wisconsin) on May 5th, reviewing the new miniseries “The Offer,” about the creation of the classic film “The Godfather,” currently streaming on Paramount+.

  • Murder on Horizon

    CHICAGO – Time to get back to live stage shows! The Otherworld Theatre of Chicago (Wrigleyville Neighborhood) presents an immersive sci-fi experience – AKA audience participation – on a space station, enticingly titled “Murder on Horizon.” The audience is part of solving the mystery as a futuristic gumshoe goes from suspect to suspect to find the killer of a prominent scientist.

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