Chicago Film Fest 2018: Funny Cow

What Funny Cow does is manage to tackle the subject of being a woman in comedy by showing a focus on the  behind-the-scenes drama. Funny Cow (Maxine Peake) is a woman who looks to break into the comedy scene during the 1970s.  She would continue her rise into the next decade.  The film is grounded through the performances in British comedy clubs.  Whether this format works is up to the viewer but I surely struggled…

"Chicago Film Fest 2018: Funny Cow"

Chicago Film Festival 2018: Diane

Led by a career-best performance from Mary Kay Place, Diane tells the story of a Massachusetts woman who puts others before herself. Time flies by for Diane (Mary Kay Place)–this is a woman who rarely puts herself first.  When we’re first introduced to her, it’s at the hospital to show support for her cousin, Donna (Deirdre O’Connell).  If she’s not showing care for Donna, she’s trying to deal with the mess that is her son,…

"Chicago Film Festival 2018: Diane"

Felix Van Groeningen talks Beautiful Boy

Felix Van Groeningen sat down with Solzy at the Movies during a roundtable interview to discuss his new film, Beautiful Boy, starring Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet.  The film tells the story of a father and son, David and Nic Sheff. With having two books being the source material, how easy was it to weave these two narratives together and still tell a coherent story? Felix Van Groeningen:  What helps is that it’s two points of…

"Felix Van Groeningen talks Beautiful Boy"

Chicago Film Festival 2018: Wolkenbruch’s Wondrous Journey into the Arms of a Shiksa

Wolkenbruch’s Wondrous Journey into the Arms of a Shiksa may play into some comedic tropes that we’ve seen before but the humor is delightful. This film has a classic Woody Allen vibe going for it–only this film features Yiddish, German, and Hebrew.  While I don’t want to say that Judith Wolkenbruch (Inge Maux) is the stereotypical Jewish mother, she comes very close.  She wants her son, Mordechai “Motti” Wolkenbruch (Joel Basman) to marry a Jewish…

"Chicago Film Festival 2018: Wolkenbruch’s Wondrous Journey into the Arms of a Shiksa"

An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn: A Rare Miss

Featuring the likes of Aubrey Plaza and Craig Robinson, An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn is the rare miss for some of our favorite comedy stars. Who is Beverly Luff Linn (Craig Robinson)?  This is one of the questions that drives the story of the film with posters plastered everywhere.  What is it that drives Lulu Danger (Aubrey Plaza) to attend his show?  While these questions are good in and of themselves, the film itself simply…

"An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn: A Rare Miss"

Ant-Man and The Wasp Hits Home Video

Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and The Wasp arrived on home video after this summer’s palette-cleansing theatrical release. There’s a wealth of bonus content available with this fall’s home release.  I prefer holding the physical media in my hands but that’s just me. BONUS MATERIAL (may vary by retailer): Blu-ray & Digital: Director’s Intro by Peyton Reed – The talented creator behind some of Marvel Studios’ funniest and most charming films will invite home audiences deeper into the…

"Ant-Man and The Wasp Hits Home Video"

Chicago Film Festival Honors Carey Mulligan with Tribute

The Chicago International Film Festival honored actress Carey Mulligan with an Artistic Achievement Award in connection with the Centerpiece screening of Wildlife. Prior to the screening, Mulligan and festival founder/CEO Michael Kutza posed for photos on the red carpet.  The actress also took questions from select press before the screening.  The festival would formally present the award after the screening. The actress received several Oscar nominations for her breakout role of Jenny in An Education. …

"Chicago Film Festival Honors Carey Mulligan with Tribute"

Chicago Film Festival 2018: Friedkin Uncut

A host of talent, directors, and more pay tribute to the career of William Friedkin in Francesco Zippel’s documentary, Friedkin Uncut. Fresh off a Best Director win for The French Connection, the Chicago-born native would do to horror what Star Wars did to sci-fi.  When The Exorcist premiered in 1973, audiences were lined up for the film like crazy.  Because of its content, Quentin Tarantino’s mom forbid him from seeing the film. Friedkin was born to…

"Chicago Film Festival 2018: Friedkin Uncut"

Chicago Film Festival 2018: The Other Story

The Other Story is grounded through a father-daughter relationship but also touches on the struggles between Ultra-Orthodox Judaism and secular lifestyles. There are two major plots going in The Other Story.  One is the relationship between Anat Abadi (Joy Rieger) and Shachar Elkayam (Nathan Goshen).  The other deals with patients of Dr. Shlomo Abadi (Sasson Gabai), Rami (Maayan Bloom) and Sari (Avigail Harari).  While Shlomo brings in his son, Yonatan (Yuval Segal), to help these…

"Chicago Film Festival 2018: The Other Story"

Chicago Film Festival 2018: An Acceptable Loss

Headlined by shining performances from Tika Sumpter and Ben Tavassoli, An Acceptable Loss is full of political thrills in the Chicago-set thriller. A brief prologue introduces us to former US security advisor, Elizabeth ‘Libby’ Lamm (Tika Sumpter), and her boss, then-Vice President Rachel Burke (Jamie Lee Curtis).  While watching the film, we learn that Lamm authored the controversial and “commission-proof” Burke Doctrine.  It’s because of this that Lamm decides to step away from her position.  Cut…

"Chicago Film Festival 2018: An Acceptable Loss"