Currently Browsing: zPennyRants

10/17/07: Campaigning for ’08 Oscars Begins!

The campaign for the 2008 Oscars officially began yesterday (10/17/07).  How do I know?  Because yesterday I received my first “For Your Consideration” letter.  In the next three months, my e-mail & snail mail inboxes will be flooded with letters, screeners, & chum of many varieties, all of which I will receive because I am a member […]

CONTINUE READING

CFIC ’07: Sneak Peak

The 2007 Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema opens tomorrow night (Thurs 10/18) at the Pipers Alley Theatre in Old Town & several wonderful films by Israeli schvesters are on the schedule.  My top pick in the shorts category is EMPATHY a terrific new film by first time director Adi Refaeli (showing on Sat 10/27 @ […]

CONTINUE READING

CIFF ’07 Event: Sayles/Renzi’s HONEYDRIPPER

     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 […]

CONTINUE READING

HONEYDRIPPER: CIFF ’07 Review

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 […]

CONTINUE READING

I’M THROUGH WITH WHITE GIRLS: CIFF ’07 Review

First time director Jennifer Sharp “SWANs Up” after the Q&A for her screening of I’M THROUGH WITH WHITE GIRLS at the 2007 Chicago International Film Festival.  This is a terrific film which definitely deserves distribution.  Hey, Spike Lee: your Sista needs you to give her a boost! Read FF2 haiku. (Photo: Jan Lisa Huttner)

CONTINUE READING

Film Review: LARS & THE REAL GIRL

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! We saw LARS last night @ the Chicago International Film Festival & we were both totally charmed.  Jan predicts that Nancy Oliver is now on the 2008 Oscar Fast-Track for a “Best Original Screenplay” nomination.  Film opens in NYC & LA today (10/12) & next Friday (10/19) in Chicago & beyond. Click here for FF2 […]

CONTINUE READING

CIFF ’07 Event: JUMP! Screening & Reception

WITASWAN members welcome Helen Hood Scheer to Chicago on October 10th. Photo in the middle shows Helen, director of the new doc JUMP!, with her editor Scott Morgan during the Q&A session right after their first screening at the 2007 Chicago International Film Festival. Additional screenings are scheduled for Friday 10/12 @ 4:15 PM & Saturday 10/13 @ […]

CONTINUE READING

Jim Jones on THE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB

Capsule review by J.R. Jones (From the Chicago Reader)  The Jane Austen Book Club   “The movie equivalent of a toenail-painting session, this adaptation of Karen Joy Fowler’s best seller centers on a group of unhappy women (Kathy Baker, Maria Bello, Emily Blunt, Amy Brenneman, Maggie Grace) and one mystified man (Hugh Dancy) who convene […]

CONTINUE READING

Stephen Holden on THE NANNY DIARIES

From Stephen Holden’s review of The Nanny Diaries in the NEW YORK TIMES: “Just before the big bad wolves — the rich and powerful — are about to devour the Little Red Riding Hoods in these books [Nanny & Prada], they see the light and parachute into improbably soft landings…”  Penny rants: OK, putting Prada […]

CONTINUE READING

07 Oscar Rant for Digital Filmmaker

When you’re a film critic, Oscar Night is a bit of a bore. We’re like political pundits energized by the primaries; from long experience, we know that by the time election night rolls around, most of the important issues have already been decided. So my biggest day of the year is the day that Oscar […]

CONTINUE READING

07 Oscar Chat with Engster

“A year ago we visited with Chicago Film Critic Jan Huttner, who was not at all happy about the Oscar nominations of 2006; and here is it 2007. Everything went as planned for DREAMGIRLS, except the eight nominations did not include one for Best Picture. We’ll talk about this and much more. The Oscar nominations […]

CONTINUE READING

Jan’s Oscar Picks for 2007

Follow link to read Jan’s Oscar Picks for 2007   http://www.films42.com/oscar_picks/2007_oscar_picks.asp

CONTINUE READING

Jan’s Oscar Picks for 2006

Follow link to read Jan’s Oscar Picks for 2006 http://www.films42.com/oscar_picks/2006_oscar_picks.asp

CONTINUE READING

Jan’s Reflections on Oscar 2006

Follow link to read Jan’s Reflections on Oscar 2006   http://www.films42.com/oscar_picks/oscar_reflections-2006.asp

CONTINUE READING

Jan’s Oscar Picks for 2005

Follow link to read Jan’s Oscar Picks for 2005   http://www.films42.com/oscar_picks/2005_oscar_globes_picks.asp

CONTINUE READING

Jan’s Oscar Picks for 2004

Follow link to read Jan’s Oscar Picks for 2004   http://www.films42.com/oscar_picks/2004_oscar_picks.asp

CONTINUE READING

Jan’s Reflections on Oscar 2004

THIS WAS THE CRITICAL YEAR! Read all the details contained in Jan’s Reflections on Oscar 2004, then read Jan’s award-winning article in Women’s eNews. Thanks to coaching from WeN’s excellent editor Alexandra Poulos, this article took first place in the “Best News Writing for the Web” category at the 2005 NFPW Annual Meeting. The judges were particularly […]

CONTINUE READING

Jan’s Reflections on Oscar 2003

Follow link to read Jan’s Reflections on Oscar 2003   http://www.films42.com/oscar_picks/oscar_reflections2003.asp

CONTINUE READING

Jan’s Oscar Picks for 2003

Follow link to read Jan’s Oscar Picks for 2003   http://www.films42.com/oscar_picks/2003_oscar_picks.asp

CONTINUE READING

Jan’s Oscar Picks for 2002

Follow link to read Jan’s Oscar Picks for 2002   http://www.films42.com/oscar_picks/2002_oscar_picks.asp

CONTINUE READING

Jan’s Oscar Picks for 2001

Follow link to read Jan’s Oscar Picks for 2001   http://www.films42.com/oscar_picks/2001_oscar_picks.asp

CONTINUE READING

Jan’s Oscar Picks for 2000

Follow link to read Jan’s Oscar Picks for 2000   http://www.films42.com/oscar_picks/oscar_picks.asp  

CONTINUE READING