Mia Wasikowska

Pre-Apocalyptic Darkness Found in ‘Maps to the Stars’

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

CHICAGO – There is a moral darkness in director David Cronenberg’s “Maps to the Stars” that is hard to shake. It is filled with circumstance and souls right at the edge of insanity, polluted by an atmosphere that doesn’t give them much of a chance. The apocalypse is now, and living in Los Angeles.

Luminous Story of Disconnection in Organic ‘Tracks’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

CHICAGO – “Do you ever wonder if the things that are meant to connect us … actually disconnect us?” This cheesy hypothesis as found in many millennial dramas has only caused the film world go to in circles about the quandary of handheld screens and social media. With its cool air, John Curran’s low-key adventure “Tracks” takes a line straight through that argument, providing a story of disconnection from distraction as set in a world when Apple products were only gadgets on re-runs of “Star Trek.”

Mia Wasikowska Finds Trippy Mystery in ‘Stoker’

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

CHICAGO – There is cause and effect in life, and there are times when random acts of circumstance rinses it all away. Those emotions are realized in the strange yet compelling composition of the new film “Stoker,” featuring Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, and Matthew Goode.

Tom Hardy Leads Great Cast in Disappointing ‘Lawless’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.5/5.0
Rating: 1.5/5.0

CHICAGO – John Hillcoat’s “Lawless,” based on Matt Bondurant’s “The Wettest County in the World,” is one of the most high profile disappointments of 2012, a film with an amazing cast that suffocates under the weight of an inconsistent script, a boring lead, and a complete lack of narrative drive. Who would have ever guessed that a movie with so many charismatic actors and actresses could ever be so shockingly dull? It’s nearly an accomplishment.

Glenn Close, Janet McTeer in Melancholy ‘Albert Nobbs’

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

CHICAGO – People who put themselves in boxes often go through their entire lives without meeting anyone who show them what it’s like on the outside. There’s every possibility that the tragically confined title character in “Albert Nobbs” would have remained in her box till her death if not for a chance encounter with someone who shows her that there is another way. The sad drama that follows charts her attempt to break free and realization that it may have come too late.

Gus Van Sant Turns Death Into Poetry in ‘Restless’

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

CHICAGO – Gus Van Sant’s “Restless” is an undeniably twee and hipster film that will annoy some viewers about as much as bad performance art, but I found the film’s commitment to a unique tone and world view refreshing as so few directors even know what those words mean. It may not be grounded enough to be emotionally effective, but another strong performance from the stellar Mia Wasikowska and a consistency to its vision make “Restless” worth a look.

Mia Wasikowska, Judi Dench Float on ‘Jane Eyre’

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

CHICAGO – Film adaptations of classic literature are often lose-lose scenarios. The ardent admirers of the source often sour on what is left out, and the average filmgoer might wonder what the fuss is about when experiencing a truncated interpretation. There is obvious passion behind the latest adaptation of “Jane Eyre,” with performances that follow that lead.

Annette Bening, Julianne Moore Out in the Light With ‘The Kids Are All Right’

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

CHICAGO – It is Hollywood that is often ahead of the social curve, expressing in art what most people can’t fathom in real life. “The Kids Are All Right” is that type of consciousness, depicting a committed lesbian couple – played by Annette Bening and Julianne Moore – coming to grips with transitions occurring with their kids.

Hal Holbrook Illuminates the Dying Light in ‘That Evening Sun’

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

CHICAGO – There are no epitaphs to be written if life is still coursing through the veins. In the film “That Evening Sun,” Hal Holbrook expresses the life coursing through him, as both a great actor and innate human being.

Go Ask ‘Alice in Wonderland’ With Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway

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

CHICAGO – It’s like living in a dream. Director Tim Burton’s adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” uses 3-D magic for a timeless classic and creates gratitude for this current era of technology and creativity.

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