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Academy Award

Film Review: Emotionally Animated ‘My Life as a Zucchini’

My Life as a Zucchini

CHICAGO – Leave it to the Europeans to inject some realistic drama into the art of animation. The recently Oscar nominated “My Life as a Zucchini” is opening in Chicago this weekend, and tells the story of parental abandonment, orphanages and finding family. Co-produced by France and Switzerland, it uses a familiar claymation stop-motion style for more emotional resonance.

Film Feature: Top 20 Interviews of 2016, by Patrick McDonald

CHICAGO –To quote the sublime Bruce Springsteen, it’s just “talk, talk, talk ‘til you lose your patience.” Well, that ain’t HollywoodChicago.com’s Patrick McDonald, who throws down the über-interview on a series of movers, shakers and magical filmmakers. Oscar Day is perfect for the Top 20 talks of 2016.

Interview: Filmmaker Lonnie Edwards to be Honored at ‘Hollywood on State’ in Chicago

Lonnie Edwards

CHICAGO – Tonight is the 89th Academy Awards, and Hollywood will honor their own in the annual lavish ceremony. In Chicago, there will be a similar celebration, as the Gene Siskel Film Center is throwing a “Hollywood on State” party, and honoring four local filmmakers at the event. Joining honorees Lori Felker, Jennifer Reeder and Michael Smith is filmmaker Lonnie Edwards, whose voice has made an impact ever since his awarding-winning debut in 2014, the short film “Parietal Guidance.”

Interview: Dale Robinette, on His Iconic Photo From ‘La La Land’

CHICAGO – The photograph of the 2016 movie year is undoubtedbly the iconic shot of Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, caught in mid dance, in the musical “La La Land.” The film received 14 nominations for this Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony (Feb. 26th), and the “Unit Still Photographer” who got the shot was Dale Robinette.

Film News: ‘La La Land’ Gets Record 14 Oscar Nominations for 2017

CHICAGO – The film musical “La La Land” received 14 nominations (including Best Picture), tying a record, as all nominees were announced for the 89th Academy Awards on January 24th, 2017. The rest of the Best Pictures nominees were “Arrival,” “Fences,” “Hacksaw Ridge,” “Hell or High Water,” “Hidden Figures,’ “Lion,” “Manchester by the Sea” and “Moonlight.”

Entertainment News: Film, TV Star & Oscar Winner Patty Duke Dies at 69

Patty Duke, Photo by Joe Arce

COEUR D’ALENE, IDAHO – She was a lesson in duality. One of her most famous roles was as “identical cousins” on “The Patty Duke Show,” and Anna Marie “Patty” Duke also made public her fight with bipolar disorder. She was also a talented actress, winning an Oscar as teenager for “The Miracle Worker.” Ms. Duke passed away on March 29th, 2016, at the age of 69, at her home in Idaho.

Interview: Director Gavin Hood has His ‘Eye in the Sky’

CHICAGO – The new film “Eye in the Sky” is as contemporary a war film that currently could be made. The overview of drone warfare includes the distant “pilots” on the computer screen, the leaders in their paneled offices, and the target on the ground – which includes the enemy, but also several innocents.

Film News: Character Actor, Oscar Winner George Kennedy Dies at 91

MIDDLETON, IDAHO – On the day of the 88th Academy Awards, Hollywood lost a venerable character actor and Oscar winner, George Kennedy. Kennedy won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar at the 40th Academy Awards for his role in “Cool Hand Luke.” He passed away at a care facility in Idaho, age 91.

Film Review: 2016 Animated Feature Oscar Nominee ‘Boy & the World’

CHICAGO – If the 2016 Oscar nominations are examined a bit more closely, some real gems can be found. In the Best Animated Feature Category, beyond the familiar nomination of “Inside Out,” there is an offering from Brazil entitled “Boy & the World.”

Film Review: Take the Opportunity to See 2016 ‘Oscar Nominated Shorts’

Oscar Nominated Short Films 2016

CHICAGO – Chicago is one of the cinematic cities that has the privilege to see two categories of Academy Award nominations on the big screen that are often not exhibited – the Live Action and Animated Short Films. In two separate programs, the Landmark Century City Cinema – 2828 N. Clark Street in Chicago – are screening the ten nominees.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • 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.

  • Wiz, The

    CHICAGO – When stage theater can cause outbreaks of elation, celebration and joy, then it must be due to Kokandy Productions’ revival of “The Wiz.” The urban reinterpretation of “The Wizard of Oz” story – told through tuneful euphoria and jubilant dance – is ecstatically produced, in every morsel of its stagecraft.

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