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La La Land

This is a beautiful film about love and dreams, and how the two impact each other.

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Jackie

There are two movies in "Jackie." One of these movies is just OK. The other is exceptional. The first one keeps undermining the second.

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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* This filmography is not intended to be a comprehensive list of this artist’s work. Instead it reflects the films this person has been involved with that have been reviewed on this site.

#117 May 30, 2012

Marie writes: Recently, a fellow artist and friend sent me the following photos featuring amazing glass mosaics. She didn't know who the artists were however - and which set me off on a journey to find out!  I confess, the stairs currently continue to thwart me and thus remain a mystery, but I did uncover who created the "glass bottle doorway" and was surprised to learn both its location and the inspiration behind it. (click image.)

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Catherine O'Hara: Queen of Comedy

View image Catherine O'Hara, the funniest person on the planet, with John Michael Higgins, who's no slouch himself.

Please note that, in the list of Categories in the column at right, there is one topic that still has no entires. That is "Oscars." Because, really, after last year what's even left to joke about? And it's only November.

Nevertheless, I have a couple of Chicago Sun-Times/RogerEbert.com reviews this week, and one of them is of Christopher Guest's "For Your Consideration": Hey, I heard Catherine O'Hara is so splendid in Christopher Guest's latest ensemble comedy, "For Your Consideration," she's a shoo-in for an Oscar nomination.

It's true -- she is that good. And she's long overdue. (I would already have given her an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy, a Peabody, a Nobel and a People's Global Golden Choice Award for her performances as Lola Heatherton and Dusty Towne in the 1982 SCTV "Network 90" Christmas special alone.) Also: "Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus":Perhaps the two biggest problems with "Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus" are the last two words of the title. This through-the-looking-glass "Beauty and the Beast" fable has little to do with Diane Arbus, the famous photographer, or with her work, which is not seen in the film. As a Lewis Carroll title card explains, this "is not a historical biography" but instead "reaches beyond reality to express what might have been Arbus' inner experience on her extraordinary path" to becoming an artist. Sure. All that's missing is a sense of who Arbus was, and how the fictional journey depicted in the film is reflected in (or, rather, distilled from) her art.Meanwhile, over at The Onion, the question is considered: "Are Oscar Prognosticators Evil?."

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TIFF: Short cuts

The cast of the Oscar-favorite film, "Home for Purim."

"For Your Consideration" -- Christopher Guest is blessed with the finest comedic stock company since the heyday of Preston Sturges. Guest, Catherine O'Hara (Goddess of Funny), Eugene Levy, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, Parker Posey, Jennifer Coolidge, Jane Lynch, John Michael Higgins, Bob Balaban, Ed Begley Jr., Michael Hitchcock, Paul Dooley, Jim Piddock, Larry Miller... I get a thrill just seeing them share screen space in various combinations (and this time they've added Ricky Gervais and Sandra Oh to the mix). Every few years when they get together (the last time they were together was "A Mighty Wind" in 2003), it's like seeing old friends for whom you will always harbor a deep and abiding affection. Here's hoping they keep reuniting for many movies to come.

In "FYC," the subject isn't so much the movie industry (Guest already made the best American dissection of the contemporary film business back in 1989 with "The Big Picture") as the awards and publicity industry. We join a film in production -- a kind of kosher Tennessee Williams melodrama about a Jewish family in the South during the war, called "Home for Purim." Somebody on the web (or the "World Wide Internet" as the typically clueless HollyLuddites call it) claims the lead actress (played by O'Hara), an '80s sitcom star who's been virtually forgotten by the public and the industry, may be giving an "Oscar-worthy" performance, and a rumor is born that (as in "The Big Picture") takes on a life of its own.

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