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Martha Marcy May Marlene

Film Review: Love is Impossible in Alluring Period Horror ‘In Secret’

In Secret

CHICAGO – If stories of Prince Charmings and the liberation from wicked stepmothers are fairy tales, than “In Secret” is the stuff of nightmares, where marriage is not just a prison sentence, but an unlucky life is as well. Based on the novel “Therese Raquin” by Emile Zola as published in 1867, this film’s element of ownership may be considered an artifact in 2014. But thankfully this adaptation earns its own pertinence, as a dark period thriller with real doses of hormonally fueled bad decisions.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Silent House’ Pulls Off Ambitious Stunt with Mixed Results

Silent House Blu-ray

CHICAGO – “Silent House” inspires the same strange mixture of feelings that I felt while watching fascinating yet severely flawed pictures like “The Life Aquatic” or “I Heart Huckabees.” My rational mind recognizes that the film doesn’t quite work, and yet my inner cinephile urges me to recommend it anyway. Here’s a movie that’s nearly worth seeing in spite of itself.

Blu-ray Review: Striking, Haunting ‘Martha Marcy May Marlene’

Martha Marcy May Marlene

CHICAGO – You’d never know it from the Academy Awards this past weekend but Sean Durkin’s “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, was one of the best movies of 2011, a better overall film than at least half of this year’s Oscar winners. It features my choice for the best actress performance of 2011 and won the CFCA Award for Most Promising Filmmaker and Most Promising Performer. It’s absolutely a must-see.

Film Feature: The 11 Biggest Oscar Snubs of 2012

CHICAGO – Another year, another bunch of people who call themselves Oscar pundits bitching and moaning. It wouldn’t be late January without it.

Film News: Terrence Malick’s ‘The Tree of Life’ Leads 2011 Chicago Film Critics Association Nominees

CHICAGO – It may have had a controversial journey to the big screen, but the Chicago Film Critics Association thought that Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” was worth the wait, nominating it today for a leading seven awards, including Best Picture, Supporting Actor (Brad Pitt), Supporting Actress (Jessica Chastain), Director, Original Screenplay, Cinematography, and Promising Performer (Hunter McCracken).

Film Review: Brilliant ‘Martha Marcy May Marlene’ Offers No Easy Answers

CHICAGO – With a striking lead performance and assured direction from a debut filmmaker, “Martha Marcy May Marlene” has been one of the most acclaimed films of 2011 since its debut at Sundance many months ago.

Interview: Sean Durkin, Elizabeth Olsen of ‘Martha Marcy May Marlene’

CHICAGO – One of the more memorable dramas of the year hits Chicago theaters this Friday in Sean Durkin’s directorial debut “Martha Marcy May Marlene.” The story of a young girl who escapes her life in a cult only to have difficulty readjusting to being home with her distant sister has earned nothing but raves since its Sundance debut.

Preview: 47th Chicago International Film Festival, Part One

CHICAGO – This year’s line-up for the 47th Annual Chicago International Film Festival is an eclectic mix of major Oscar contenders (“My Week With Marilyn,” “The Artist,” “The Descendants”) along with a number of interesting smaller films.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Jesus Christ Superstar, Lyric Opera

    CHICAGO – As a wee lad, I would often go into my parent’s record collection. One day, out of the blue, that brown double album with the gold embossed angels appeared, like a gift from the divine. “Jesus Christ Superstar” began as a record album “rock opera” in 1970, evolved to a Broadway show and film, and then was interpreted through a myriad of stage revivals over the years. The latest is an exciting piece of stagecraft at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The show has a various evening/matinee run through May 20th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Cornerstone, Nothing Without a Company

    CHICAGO – We all need some help. The stage play group Nothing Without a Company realizes that, and has collaborated with the organization “Cornerstone” to provide that assistance. Cornerstone is a seminar and a happening in downtown Chicago, facilitated by “experts” to generate your potential. The presentation has a Thursday-Sunday run at Michigan Avenue’s Artspace 8 through May 6th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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