Sundance Selects

Unbelievable Story is Key to ‘Framing John DeLorean’

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

CHICAGO – The story of auto impresario John DeLorean is definitely one of truth is stranger than fiction, but also has a basis in “what ifs?” The fascinating new documentary of his life tells that story, breaking down the vagueness of how a former General Motors superstar got involved in a drug deal to save his own car company. As always, a situation like that has more loopholes.

Ain’t That America in New Documentary ‘Weiner’


Rating: 4.5/5.0

CHICAGO – It’s almost impossible to invent any punishment that former Congressman Anthony Weiner hasn’t inflicted upon himself. According to modern media, his indiscretions are the ultimate sin, but the media hacks are also the rock throwers in the glass houses. It’s all in the new doc, “Weiner.”

‘45 Years’ is Emotional Art From a Long Relationship

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

CHICAGO – There is something incredibly special when two old pros – in this case actors Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay – interpret an amazing exploration of a long relationship with a preciseness that creates life affirmation, despite the sorrows. There is truth in this film.

‘Blue is the Warmest Color’ Expands a True Coupling

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

CHICAGO – Deliberate and passionate relationships – with all the initial upbeat highs and subsequent heart-breaking lows – may never get as deep a treatment as the winner of the Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or, the challenging and expressive “Blue is the Warmest Color.”

Michael Cera, Gaby Hoffmann Anchor ‘Crystal Fairy’

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

CHICAGO – It’s a sad day in modern American distribution when a film as highly praised and perversely intriguing as Sebastián Silva’s “Magic Magic” fails to acquire a theatrical release. The very notion of a Sundance darling co-lensed by Christopher Doyle getting unceremoniously dumped on DVD is too maddening to contemplate. At a time when Disney labels a formulaic misfire like “The Lone Ranger” as a “risk,” it’s depressing to see a company like Sony Pictures follow suit.

Fresh Performances Drive ‘Gimme the Loot’

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

CHICAGO – The world of the movies is also a world of discovery. Like new, hot authors, the breakthrough directors emerge with an original first work that generates deserved attention. Writer/director Adam Leon has created that freshness in the his debut feature, “Gimme the Loot.”

Miscarriage of Justice Befalls ‘The Central Park Five’

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

CHICAGO – It takes a provocative subject to capture the attention of famous documentarian Ken Burns. There are few things more provocative than the story of “The Central Park Five.” Burns, his daughter Sarah Burns and son-in-law David McMahon were co-directors for this exploration of justice denied.

‘Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry’ Stands as One of 2012’s Most Important Films

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

CHICAGO – Every person who was mystified by the meaning of the “Free Ai Weiwei” shirts and petitions that in were vogue last year owe it to themselves to see Alison Klayman’s excellent documentary. Moviegoers will be hard-pressed to find a more riveting and vital film in theaters this year. It may not have a satisfying ending, but that’s because its real-life tale has (thankfully) yet to reach a conclusion.

Ballet is a Fierce, Youthful Art in ‘First Position’

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

CHICAGO – In general, one of the essential rites of passage for girls in childhood are ballet lessons and costumed recitals. What about those exceptional talents who stick with the art? Director Bess Kargman creates a documentary about the elite youth within the beauty and truth of the dance, “First Position.”

‘The Kid with a Bike’ Marks Another Home Run by the Dardenne Brothers

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

CHICAGO – The sullen little boy is always on the run. His red shirt and jacket cause him to resemble a crimson blur against the green and gray landscape of his Belgian town. He believes that there must be an explanation for why his absent father has left him in a state-run youth farm, and is determined to track him down. Consumed with confusion and rage, the boy has no choice but to keep moving toward a destination that may not exist.

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