Superlative doc artfully combines archival footage with personal reminiscences, capturing specific time & place (post-Imperial Brittan) full of contemporary resonance. Seven sailors set out in 1967 to circumnavigate the globe single-handedly with no stops. See it on the big screen & you’ll feel surrounded yourself by waves & endless sky. More on DEEP WATER.
Mortimer’s wonderful as a guarded & severe woman with a young son who has to learn how to live in the world again after running for years from an abusive relationship. While the “mystery” of her predicament is a bit overplayed, Mortimer’s inner glow makes the film itself truly heart-warming. More on DEAR FRANKIE.
Splendid ensemble cast conveys shock waves emanating from horrific murder, deeply affecting women who never knew “Krista” (Collette discovers body, medical examiner Byrne processes it) as well as most intimate mourners (mother Harden & best friend Washington). Brittany Murphy’s heart-breaking as “Krista,” ditto Hurt as the wife of the perp. More on THE DEAD GIRL.
Another dream came true last night when I had my second chance to chat real time with one of my idols: Maggie Renzi. I chatted with Maggie the first time when John & Maggie came to Chicago's Gene Siskel Film Center as part of their "John Sayles Retrospective" tour in 2002. This was the very FIRST interview…
Director/Screenwriter John Sayles & Producer/Partner Maggie Renzi show their new film HONEYDRIPPER to an exuberant CIFF crowd at the Music Box Theatre on 10/15. FF2 Haiku: Deep South circa 1950: dawn of electrified R&B. Huge ensemble cast is uniformly excellent with breakout performance by Gary Clark Jr., augmented by period songs knit together by Mason…
Intensely-compelling film follows a suicide bomber for 48 hours. She’s got no name, no backstory, & no explicit convictions. What seems clear to her as she plans for her mission becomes a chaotic jumble when she leaves her ideological bubble & re-enters the real world. Shocking, sobering, & completely heart-breaking. More on DAY NIGHT DAY…
Biopic about Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, author of one of America's great classics: THE YEARLING. Marjorie is determined to be a writer, but she's locked into derivative Gothic drivel until she leaves her comfortable Manhattan marriage & heads off alone to rural Florida... where everything she sees is new to her. More on CROSS CREEK.
Light & fun, especially for people like us who love Broadway musicals. We enjoyed the extravagant (albeit very silly) production numbers. OK, there's nothing new here (with the plot basically stolen from Billy Wilder’s SOME LIKE IT HOT), but Vardalos, who also wrote the screenplay, has charmed us yet again. More on CONNIE & CARLA.
On first viewing, the rehearsal scenes in this film about Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet are fascinating & the actual performance scenes are breathtaking. But see it again to appreciate how screenwriter Barbara Turner has cued up one of Altman’s most evocative microworlds, an exquisite auditory/visual tableau comparable to McCABE & NASHVILLE. More on THE COMPANY.
Poetic doc about the role of laundry in women's lives, with beautiful musical score by Alice Eve Cohen. The film presents a vivid account of how various women respond to the monotony of mundane tasks with creative determination, & use laundry as a means of communicating their values to their daughters. More on CLOTHESLINES.