Cannes Film Festival

Unsettling View of Evil in Lars von Trier’s ‘The House That Jack Built’

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

CHICAGO – With director Lars von Trier, who is a mad f**king genius of a filmmaker, it’s always make or break (or both). He breaks in his latest, “The House That Jack Built” which is all too much of evil everything, until it morphs into a last act that has an intriguing and unsettling sense of weird purpose. The story of a serial killer and the meticulous realizations of his killings is like a sound meter that is constantly going into the red zone, until the damn thing shatters.

Benicio Del Toro is Never Better in Standout 2015 Thriller ‘Sicario’

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

CHICAGO – Seeing the man behind the curtains in “The Wizard of Oz” really was when so many of us truly understood what “behind the scenes” means. Today, we’re fascinated by FBI and CIA stories because they grant us top-secret security clearance we’ll otherwise never have.

Cannes Winner ‘Reality’ From ‘Gomorrah’ Director Matteo Garrone

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

CHICAGO – Matteo Garrone is a notable talent. His highly acclaimed 2008 film “Gomorrah” earned praise around the world and the follow-up, “Reality,” won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival last year. It’s a step down from his previous work as it’s less ambitious and doesn’t quite come together but it features enough interesting ideas about our fame-obsessed culture to see why it connected with the French fest jury.

‘Beyond the Hills’ Entraps Audience in Claustrophobic Nightmare

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

CHICAGO – There is an excellent 90-minute film hidden somewhere within the two-and-a-half-hour ordeal that is Cristian Mungiu’s “Beyond the Hills.” It’s far from a bad film, and offers many sequences of entrancing power, but simply doesn’t have enough material to justify its sprawling running time. Instead of probing deeper, the picture merely becomes repetitive.

Meditative ‘Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives’

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

CHICAGO – “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives” opens with one of its most striking, memorable, and essential images. A buffalo stands in a forest at what appears to be dusk, as we can see him only in shadow. He moves slowly around a tree, almost ghostly, before escaping and running through a field and into a forest.

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  • Grace, Or the Art of Climbing

    CHICAGO – What is life but a constant climb? The Brown Paper Box Co., one of the most vital storefront theater groups in Chicago, asks that question and more in the significant “Grace, Or the Art of Climbing.” Using a woman’s journey through some difficult situations, the parallels of “the climb” become a artfully performed story that is all inspiration and uplift. The play runs through July 7th, 2019, at Stage 773 in the Belmont Avenue Theater District in Chicago. For more information and tickets, click here.

  • Elizabeth Laidlaw

    CHICAGO – The recent limited series “The Red Line” on CBS-TV was notable for a couple elements – it was set in Chicago and it featured Chicago actors in major roles. Creators Caitlin Parrish and Erica Weiss (from here), cast their Chi-town colleague Elizabeth Laidlaw, who portrayed police officer “Vic” Renna.

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