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Patrick McDonald

‘When Did You Last See Your Father?’ a Family Affair Between Colin Firth, Jim Broadbent

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

CHICAGO – With Father’s Day upon us, what better time to take in a film about a dysfunctional relationship between a father and a son?

The tongue-tying title “When Did You Last See Your Father?” is a true story exploring the secrets and lies over a lifetime of dealing with dad and a son’s bitterness when confronting everything during the time of a patriarch’s death.

The Need For Each Other Transcends Politics, Resentment in Absorbing ‘The Edge of Heaven’

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

CHICAGO – As we sit here in the U.S. embroiled in the presidential elections and summertime, the rest of the world simmers within its own unique problems.

What about Germany and Turkey? Director and writer Fatih Akin answers this question in the film “The Edge of Heaven” through several distinct characters who symbolize relations between the countries.

Julianne Moore Pushes Freudian Implications to Limit in True Story of ‘Savage Grace’

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

CHICAGO – The national acting treasure Julianne Moore never shies away from a performance challenge.

From her memorable exposure in Robert Altman’s “Short Cuts” to her willingness to go all the way in Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Boogie Nights,” Moore has proven that true vulnerability in a role requires the ability to bare – and bear with – all.

M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘The Happening’ a Creepy, Paranoid Ride Through Today’s Environment

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Trying to understand the thought process of writer and director M. Night Shyamalan is akin to analyzing Jell-O. What keeps it wiggling and what binds it together?

“The Happening,” which is his latest creepy film, is a modern cautionary tale ripped from the collective sensibilities of life after Sept. 11, 2001 and the status of human beings in their interaction with today’s environment.

Tepidly Paced ‘The Duchess of Langeais’ a Costume Drama Lacking the Dramatic

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

CHICAGO – Honoré de Balzac is a famous French writer from the post-Napoleonic age who focused on the societal mores with a sense of realism that hadn’t been seen in literature until that point. He reveled in the oblique moral ambiguity of the human condition.

Relax, Float Upstream With Mike Judge Assemblage ‘The Animation Show 4’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5CHICAGO – With its passionate mix of creativity and computers, this modern golden age of animation proceeds to entertain and astound with each passing year. Mike Judge – the preeminent creator of cartoon legends “Beavis & Butt-Head” and “King of the Hill” – presents his latest compilation of the worldwide best in animated short films.

Set in Tel Aviv, New Israeli Film ‘Jellyfish’ Shines With Virtue, Veracity

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5CHICAGO – It has been a banner year so far for the Israeli film industry. Following the American debuts of “The Band’s Visit” and “Beaufort,” we now have the stunningly composed and heart-rending “Jellyfish”.

Covering Up Sins a Harmful Decision For Catholic Church in ‘Constantine’s Sword’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5CHICAGO – If there ever was an institution that has distressed itself through years of patriarchal rule, it is the Catholic Church. From examples of historical misdeeds through the recent priest scandals, the Catholic Church has done a dance around truth that would make Saint Vitus proud.

Actors Awkwardly Impersonate Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin in ‘Mister Lonely’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3/5CHICAGO – The wonder of a filmmaker’s art and perspective is the ability to challenge and reflect the absurdity of our own nature back to us. Few filmmakers have done more to add provocation to that sensibility than Harmony Korine.

Despite its Title, ‘The Strangers’ Actually a Familiar Repeat of Horror Film Conventions

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.5/5CHICAGO – Poor Liv Tyler. She’s stuck in a remote vacation home with nothing but the blank-stare acting of Scott Speedman to “save” her. What’s a rock daughter who becomes an actress to do? First, she shouldn’t sign onto yet another version of the couple-in-terror cliché.

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