Alfonso Cuaron

Film News: ‘Green Book,’ Olivia Colman Shock at 91st Oscars

CHICAGO – After all the controversies that beset the 91st Academy Awards, the actual event continued to surprise, with the stunning upset of Olivia Colman (“The Favourite”) as the Best Actress honoree – besting heavily favored Glenn Close – to the naming of “Green Book” as Best Picture, which overcame a backlash regarding the liberties of its based-on-truth story.

Oscar Week: Interview with Nominees Yalitza Aparicio & Marina de Tavira of ‘Roma’

ROMA Actors, Photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – One of the more pleasant surprises of the 2018 film year was the rise of the connectively expressive film “Roma,” written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón. Not only is it nominated for Best Picture, Best Foreign Language Film and Best Director at the 91st Academy Awards, but the two lead actresses – Yalitza Aparicio and Maria de Tavira – are nominated for Best Actress and Supporting Actress. Jon Lennon Espino, contributor at HollywoodChicago.com, interviewed both actresses last October at the 54th Chicago International Film Festival.

Film News: Chicago Film Critics Best Film of 2018 is ‘Roma’

CHICAGO – The personal, emotional essence of Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma” – a memory film set in the Mexico City neighborhood in the early 1970s – took home the Best Picture honor at the 2018 Chicago Film Critics Association annual dinner. “Roma” also was honored as Best Foreign Film, Director, Cinematography and Editing.

Film Review: ‘Roma’ is a Celebration of Human Courage & Spirit

CHICAGO – In one of the most arresting and beautiful films of the year, writer/director Alfonso Cuarón transports us back to 1970s Mexico City, to his childhood and his appreciation of memory. He also creates a human story around all the nostalgia, that all takes place in the neighborhood of “Roma.”

Photo, Interviews: Red Carpet for ‘Roma’ at the 54th Chicago International Film Festival

ROMA Actors, Photo by Joe Arce

CHICAGO – One of the buzz films at the 54th Chicago International Film Festival (CIFF) is “Roma,” the latest from Academy Award winning director Alfonso Cuarón (“Gravity”). This personal and autobiographical film is winning kudos for its beauty and authenticity, as well as its setting in 1970s Mexico City. The film features Mexican actors Marina de Tavira and Yalitza Aparicio.

Film News: ‘12 Years a Slave’ is Best Picture at 2014 Oscars

CHICAGO – Hollywood celebrated its big night at the 86th Academy Awards, and the biggest news was the selfie photo that apparently broke Twitter. The stark film “12 Years a Slave” won Best Picture, and Ellen DeGeneres took the celebrity group selfie that immediately was Tweeted around the world, overloading the popular website.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Gravity’ is Elegant, Nail Biting at the Same Time

gravityblucov.jpg

CHICAGO – Some films fundamentally change what you expect from cinema. “Star Wars” (1977), “Jurassic Park” (1996), “Avatar” (2007) all pushed those boundaries. In my first of a whopping eight theatrical viewings of “Jurassic Park” for instance I never once felt the illusion of watching real dinosaurs was interrupted by suddenly realizing how ‘they did it’ I was simply watching real dinosaurs.

Film Review: ‘Gravity’ is a Visionary Expansion on Our Humanity

'Gravity' Sandra Bullock
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Space looks like a vast, dark ocean in the new film “Gravity,” with the sparkling blue orb of our planet Earth beckoning the voyagers on that ocean homeward. Co-writer/director Alfonso Cuarón fashions a metaphoric dreamscape that places the small molecules of human beings within the vast expanse, fighting to understand the value of their place in that sea of cosmos.

Film Review: Alfonso Cuaron’s ‘Gravity’ Rekindles Wonder of Cinema

CHICAGO – There used to be a stronger sense that films could take us someplace new. From the days of audience members screaming at the train coming at the camera because they didn’t understand that they wouldn’t be run over to Dorothy’s trip to Oz to young Skywalker’s family problems, movies captured a sense of wonder that’s been lost in an era when CGI is in KFC commercials and it feels like Hollywood has run out of new places to take us.

Blu-Ray Review: Ultimate Editions of Third, Fourth ‘Harry Potter’ Films

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

CHICAGO – Hardcore “Harry Potter” fans will have to clear some shelf space this holiday season for the gigantic “Ultimate Edition” releases of “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” and “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” Timed to coincide with the upcoming release of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” in November, Warner Bros. has released the third and fourth film in their money-machine, complete with collectibles and new special features that could feel like overkill for most but will make for a happy holiday season for the Potter nut in your clan of Muggles.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • It's NOT ALL About You John Michael

    CHICAGO – John Michael epitomizes the art of the monologue. The Chicago transplant, by way of Dallas, is moving on (he says temporarily) from the city that inspired his last show, “Meatball Seance,” after notorious and successful runs of his other one-man shows, “John Michael and the Order of the Penix” and “Dementia Me.” His farewell performance is his latest, another laugh riot, “It’s NOT ALL About You John Michael,” and will take place at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood on March 1st, 2019. Click here for details, including ticket information.

  • Soccer Player in the Closet, The 2

    CHICAGO – Connecting to the theater collective Nothing Without a Company means a couple of things. One, you may visit parts of Chicago you’ve never seen before – in this case a plant store in an industrial area south of Humboldt Park – and two, you will see some daring and outside-the-box stagings. “The Soccer Player in the Closet” is their latest production – a World Premiere – and it provides what the title implies and beyond. The play runs through March 17th, 2019. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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