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Michelle Williams

Film Review: Energy of Visual Cinema is the Power of ‘Wonderstruck’

CHICAGO – In one of the coolest visual films of the Fall Season thus far, “Wonderstruck” is another winner from director Todd Haynes (“Carol”), who adapts a Young Adult graphic novel by Brian Selznick (who also wrote the screenplay). The wonder of it all, baby.

Interview, Audio: Director Todd Haynes Becomes ‘Wonderstruck’

CHICAGO – Todd Haynes is an American auteur, as every one of his films bear the distinct mark of his creativity. From his beginnings with the indie masterpiece “Safe” (1995) through unforgettable films like “Far From Heaven” (2002), “I’m Not There” (2007) and “Carol,” Haynes has made cinematic art. His latest film is “Wonderstruck.”

Film News: Chicago Film Critics Association Names ‘Moonlight’ as 2016 Best Picture

Moonlight

CHICAGO – The poignant identity film “Moonlight” was named the 2016 Best Picture by the Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA), in an announcement on December 15th. The film also took home the Best Director (Barry Jenkins) and Best Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali) honors. “Manchester by the Sea” got the most honors, with four, from a voting survey of the CFCA.

Film Review: Casey Affleck Anchors ‘Manchester by the Sea’

CHICAGO – Tis the season for earnest character studies, and Casey Affleck in “Manchester by the Sea” has a doozy. Portraying a Boston guy with a mountain of sadness within, Affleck harbors the range of emotions like a coiled snake ready to strike, but manages to keep it all undercover.

Blu-ray Review: ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ Sinks Like Leaky Balloon

Oz the Great and Powerful

CHICAGO – Sam Raimi’s “Oz the Great and Powerful” starts so promisingly. The full-frame black-and-white scenes that open the film have a clever charm as they introduce us to the title character (James Franco) and whisk him off to the legendary land of witches and talking scarecrows. And that scene where the film expands as he reaches his fantasy land is a beauty.

Film Review: Story Dims Visionary ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’

CHICAGO – “Oz the Great and Powerful” is a great and powerful visual and 3D experience. It expands the landscape of what cinema can produce in a visceral and evolutionary way. But a great film also needs a great story, and this Land of Oz tale is not equivalent to the awe-inspiring imagery.

Blu-ray Review: Great Performance From Michelle Williams Leads ‘Take This Waltz’

Take This Waltz

CHICAGO – “Take This Waltz” is one of my most personally divisive films of the year. What I mean is that for every element of the movie that I truly adore, there’s one that I loathe. In the former category, there’s Michelle Williams’ striking performance and director Sarah Polley’s eye for color. In the latter category, there’s Polley’s script, one that simply never resonates as truthful and carries some of the worst dialogue of the year. There are elements here that work but every one is balanced by something that drives me crazy.

Film Review: ‘Take This Waltz’ with Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen

CHICAGO – Sarah Polley’s “Take This Waltz” both illustrates its director’s uniquely confident vision as a filmmaker and her room to grow as a screenwriter. Despite the best efforts from a very talented cast led by a fearless performance from Michelle Williams, Polley’s film is frustrating in its inability to reflect the real world.

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 50 Pairs of Passes to ‘Take This Waltz’ With Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen

CHICAGODidja like “Blue Valentine”? Then you’ll love “Take This Waltz”! In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 50 admit-two movie passes up for grabs to the advance screening of the highly recommended new film “Take This Waltz”!

Blu-ray Review: Middling ‘My Week with Marilyn’ Bolstered by Top-Notch Cast

My Week With Marilyn Blu-ray

CHICAGO – Last year’s slate of Best Actress Oscar-nominees was among the weakest in recent memory. There was no clear front-runner since there was no picture worthy of the exemplary actress at its core. From Meryl Streep in “The Iron Lady” to Glenn Close in “Albert Nobbs,” 2011 deserves to be remembered as the year of great female performances trapped in subpar material.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Bobby Pin Girls

    CHICAGO – The “breeder years” are difficult on everyone, as the biological imperative becomes overwhelming and the couplings that result yield both discovery and misadventure. Nothing Without a Company’s new play “Bobby Pin Girls” highlight two such Millennial women, roommates who are having man trouble, although the argument can be made that it’s eternally “boy trouble.” The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through December 3rd, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Transformers 5 front

    CHICAGO – Knock me over with a feather kids, but I enjoyed “Transformers: The Last Knight.” Maybe it was in comparison to the others or maybe director Michael Bay has beaten me into submission, but this one had the right story elements and casting to make it work, with exceptions of course. It’s goofiness is its charm, and it was released on Blu-Ray/DVD on September 26th, 2017 (Digital HD already available).

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