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Jim Broadbent

‘The Sense of an Ending’ Ponders a Vague Mystery

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

CHICAGO – “The Sense of an Ending” is a highfalutin title, automatically putting most folks into book club mode. It is adapted from a novel, and the narrative has the same page turning-type rhythm. An old man, portrayed by Jim Broadbent, is encountering his past, while his current situation remains untenable.

‘Bridget Jones’s Baby’ Offers Labored Attempt at Humor

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

CHICAGO – “Bridget Jones’s Baby” is the kind of geriatric sequel that makes you retroactively question whether the original film that inspired it was all that good to begin with – it’s less a film than a labored collection of contrived situations involving pregnancy and pratfalls. It’s not painfully unwatchable, but it’s unlikely to inspire anything remotely resembling amusement in its audiences.

‘Eddie the Eagle’ is Predictable But Pleasant Tale

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

CHICAGO – “Eddie The Eagle” is thoroughly predictable underdog story, but this picture won me over with a plucky persistence fitting for its peculiar protagonist. It’s an admittedly minor but mostly true tale of an oddball outsider overcoming overwhelming odds.

‘Closed Circuit’ is a Tense Reminder of Our Times

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

CHICAGO – The threat of terrorist acts defies security. That is a fundamental truth. With 7 billion people on the planet – and an infinite number of motivations within them – all the security cameras, techniques and agencies cannot stop a determined group or individual, as depicted in “Closed Circuit.”

‘Cloud Atlas’ Reaches For the Sky But Loses Its Way

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Not all great works of literature make great works of film. David Mitchell’s “Cloud Atlas” is a masterpiece but Tom Tykwer, Andy & Lana Wachowksi’s “Cloud Atlas” is definitely not. It is an ambitious work with many of Mitchell’s fascinating ideas about the ripple effect of emotion through time left intact but it is a work that frustrates as often as it thrills.

Meryl Streep Accentuates Margaret Thatcher in ‘The Iron Lady’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – It would be a cheap jab to say that “The Iron Lady” is a drag version of “J. Edgar,” and also redundant (hyy-ooh). Meryl Streep takes on the role of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, with a dreamy and vague interpretation of the PM’s life that at times feels like it’s told through the wrong end of a telescope.

Aardman Studios Offers a Merry ‘Arthur Christmas’

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

CHICAGO – Aardman Studios, the creators of the irrepressible “Wallace & Gromit” and the witty “Flushed Away” is back with another animated holiday treat, “Arthur Christmas.” Santa Claus and the gang are taken into the modern era, but the cheeky lads/lasses at Aardman can’t help but throw in a bit of whimsy and heart.

Mike Leigh Finds Heartbreak in Humanity of ‘Another Year’

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

CHICAGO – Mike Leigh (“Happy-Go-Lucky,” “Vera Drake”) has long ago been correctly-labeled as one of our most remarkably-attuned writer/directors when it comes to capturing the tragedy of the everyday human condition on film. His latest work, “Another Year,” may seem like just another slice of life and it’s certainly not the drama to see if you need fancy hooks with your popcorn, but realistically presenting the highs and sadness of an unfulfilled life is much harder than it looks.

Emily Blunt is the Girl Who Would Be Queen in ‘The Young Victoria’

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

CHICAGO – One of the functions of royalty seems to be an expected adoration from the peasants. Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend and Paul Bettany offer their interpretation on a monarch’s origins with “The Young Victoria.”

‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ Discovers the Wizard of Awe

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

CHICAGO – The Harry Potter phenomenon, born from the pen of J.K. Rowling and nurtured through the utter magic of modern filmmaking, has reached a monumental creative peak with the film “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.”

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret

    CHICAGO – When faced with adversity, the best way around it is to somehow break into song. That is the feeling behind the Brown Paper Box Co.’s “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” running April 7th and 8th at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The event features company member Kristi Szczepanek as host, and presents song stylings by other company members, including Anna Schutz, plus some special guests. For details and ticket information, click here.

  • Kid Thing, The

    CHICAGO – Like the awesome Engine Who Could, the mighty Nothing Without a Company stage crafters have constructed another triumph at their new home in Berger Mansion on Chicago’s north side. “The Kid Thing” – written by Sarah Gubbins – is a terse, convincing and emotional play about fear, identity and breeding, and it is performed by its cast of five with utter authenticity. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Berger North Mansion through April 15th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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