The Gala and Special Presentations lineup were announced last week for the 55th Chicago International Film Festival ahead of this morning’s full lineup. The announcement was made last week by Mimi Plauché, Artistic Director of the Chicago International Film Festival. While it wasn’t included in the initial wave of announcements, this year’s Opening Night selection is Motherless Brooklyn. Tickets for both the Gala and Special Presentations will go on sale on September 27. “This year’s line-up of…"Chicago Film Fest: Galas, Special Presentations"
A Private War follows The Sunday Times journalist Marie Colvin during some of the most pivotal moments of her career as a Foreign Affairs correspondent. The film starts out in Homs, Syria in 2012 before flashing back to London, 2001. While her bosses wanted to send her to one country, Colvin (Rosamund Pike) believed that the Sri Lankan Civil War was the more important story. Whatever the case, Colvin’s decision would get her placed in…"A Private War: Marie Colvin’s Important Story"
Flammable Children, while released as Swinging Safari in its native Australia, takes us back to the 1970s for a nostalgic comedy. The nostalgia starts the moment that “Spirit in the Sky” starts to play during the opening credits. It’s from this point where writer-director Stephan Elliott wisely introduces us to the people in the neighborhood along the beach. We’re introduced through Jeff Marsh (Atticus Robb), who serves as the narrator. We soon meet the Halls, Jones,…"Chicago Film Festival 2018: Flammable Children"
Two-time Oscar-nominated costume designer Ruth Carter was on hand Saturday night at the 2018 Chicago International Film Festival to receive a Career Achievement Award. The presentation came during the the annual Black Perspectives Tribute following a conversation with Regina Taylor. Prior to the presentation, I had the chance to talk with the costume designer on the red carpet. Carter will surely be one of the top contenders during the Oscars for her work on Black Panther.…"Ruth Carter talks Career Achievement Award"
A coming-of-age dramedy set in Chicago, Olympia is headlined by a delightful performance from writer-actress McKenzie Chinn. Olympia Wells (McKenzie Chinn) is approaching the crossroads of her life with tough decisions to make. These decisions come as the Chicago artist is approaching her 30th birthday. Some of these decisions aren’t so much because of her but because of her relationships. Her boyfriend, Felix (Charles Gardner), is moving to California in a few weeks with his…"Chicago Film Festival 2018: Olympia"
The Israeli film, Echo, shows the lengths that a husband will go when he starts to suspect that his wife is cheating on him. Perhaps it may not be the best idea to turn to spying in your own home. Whatever the case, this is what Avner (Yoram Toledano) does when he starts to get the idea that his wife, Ella (Yaël Abecassis), is cheating on him. This takes Avner to the extremes by recording…"Chicago Film Festival 2018: Echo"
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"
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 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"
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"