Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-03-03
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Knight at the Movies: Hateship Loveship; film notes
by Richard Knight, Jr., for Windy City Times
2014-04-16

This article shared 4599 times since Wed Apr 16, 2014
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Like Carol Burnett just after she left her long-running TV variety show and wedged herself into a series of characters without a shred of humor, SNL alumna Kristen Wiig may think that dimming down her natural comedic gifts is what's required when playing "serious roles." Wiig has quickly established herself in movies with a batch of characters who are downtrodden at the point we meet them. The funny ones crack cynically about this; the serious ones seem to have barely enough energy to lift their heads off the pillow.

For much of Hateship Loveship—Wiig's new movie, which she also executive-produced—that's just about as much energy as her character, Johanna Perry, exudes. When we first meet Johanna she is preparing to help the elderly woman she's the caregiver for get dressed—when the woman suddenly expires. In a bit of bittersweet lunacy ( which makes for a very funny comic sight gag ), Johanna is determined to get her now- deceased patient into the dress she chose in what turned out to be her last wish. Wiig effortlessly milks the comedy in this inspired moment, which is leavened by the seriousness of the occasion. You're laughing ruefully as Wiig demonstrates her physical acumen at this kind of comedy—the kind of thing she did weekly for seven years on SNL.

But then the plot kicks in, with Johanna heading to her next job as housekeeper for the gravel-voiced Mr. McCauley ( Nick Nolte ), looking after his sullen teenage granddaughter Sabitha ( played by True Grit's Hailee Steinnfeld ). The comedy disappears as the colorless, cautious Johanna integrates herself into the house. In between lots and lots of cleaning—which includes enough floor-scrubbing to give Mommie Dearest a run for her money—Johanna does her awkward best to reach out to Sabitha, whose ne'er-do-well father, Ken ( Guy Pearce ), she briefly met when first arriving.

Ken—a failed dreamer struggling with drug addiction who is trying to get a run-down motel remodeled and who lives in Chicago following the death of his wife, Sabitha's mother—sends Johanna a thank-you note for extending him some kindness when they met. Johanna, whom we suspect at this point must have a pretty active fantasy life, responds with a quasi-love letter. Sabitha's nasty teenage friend intercepts the letter and the two teens enact a mean-spirited prank: They pretend to be Ken and start an email correspondence with the shy but enthusiastic Johanna, who is clearly love-struck ( and with Pearce's good looks, it's easy to see why ). Improbably, Johanna hatches a plan to go to Chicago and present herself to Ken, who she thinks has also fallen madly in love with her.

A series of reversals—many of them genuinely surprising—follows Johanna's impromptu actions. So surprising, in fact, that the last section of the film seems to be a realization of Johanna's fantasies. ( Talk about an improbable romance! ) The result—depending upon whether you are willing to buy into Johanna's motivations—is either an understated wish-fulfillment romance or a completely unrealistic character study.

Out screenwriter Mark Poirer adapted Hateship Loveship from a short story by Alice Munro. It's one of those small character studies where the purchase of a new dress speaks volumes—and, equally, where the color of that dress ( emerald green ) is going to make a big impression on both the audience and the character it is intended to dazzle. The movie is in the tradition of The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, Georgy Girl, Member of the Wedding, Sterile Cuckoo or even Precious—in which the lonely, plain, background girl improbably gets elevated to star status.

I like that the material subverts audience expectations very subtly—a bank-teller busybody ( expertly played by Christine Lahti ) isn't just a nosy Mrs. Kravitz, the bratty Sabitha isn't just a narcissistic example of the like generation and that Johanna doesn't get emotionally pulverized by the dirty trick played on her ( as the trailer for the movie would have you believe ).

But in rising to the occasion as she reaches out for love ( that some in the audience are going to find improbable )—couldn't Johanna have been given a bit more spark or shown us a bit more personality than this borderline cypher does? Director Liza Johnston elicits some very affecting performances from her talented actors but these are in service to Johanna's rather colorless character whose blossoming, as noted, is a bit hard to fall for—harder still given how familiar we are with Wiig's tremendous capacity to evoke humor in the most benign of situations. It's the film's real misstep.

Hateship Loveship is having its Chicago premiere beginning Friday, April 18, at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St. www.siskelfilmcenter.org

Film notes:

—There are only 300 or so days until the next Oscar ceremony—an eternity for award-show junkies. To tide us over, Fathom Events and Turner Classic Movies is presenting an encore screening of the fascinating, clip-laden documentary And the Oscar Goes To… from out filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman. The film takes viewers on a historical tour of the fabled ceremony, is packed with rarely seen vintage clips ( worth the price of admission alone ), and features new interviews with a bevy of Oscar winners sharing great stories about their one of a kind experiences ( gay icon and veteran of 23 Oscar telecasts Bruce Vilanch is part of the line-up ). The film is screening today, Wed., April 16, at the AMC River East 21, 322 E. Illinois St., at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Visit http://www.fathomevents.com/event/and-the-oscar-goes-to.

—The Northwest Chicago Film Society is back with another interesting screening on 35mm. This time it has unearthed a long-forgotten ( well mostly ) pre-code melodrama set in Chicago ( well, the backlot version of Chicago anyway ) from 1932 titled The Strange Love of Molly Louvain.

Briskly told and covering a lot of ground in its 73-minute running time ( typical for Warner Bros. ), this early film from director Michael Curtiz was a rare starring vehicle for the unsung Ann Dvorak ( pronounced "vore-shack" ), who essayed a batch of very interesting character roles in her all-too-brief career ( my favorite being Three on a Match as the love-struck, drug-addled Vivian in which she co-starred with Bette Davis and Joan Blondell ). Molly Louvain screens at the Patio Theater, 6008 W. Irving Park Rd., on Wed., April 23, at 7 p.m. Christina Rice, author of the recently published Ann Dvorak: Hollywood's Forgotten Rebel, will introduce the screening. The following night the gangster epic Scarface, in which Dvorak plays Edward G. Robinson's ill-fated sister ( probably her most famous role ), is screening at the Pickwick Theater, 5 S. Prospect Ave., Park Ridge, at 7:30 p.m. www.northwestchicagofilmsociety.org


This article shared 4599 times since Wed Apr 16, 2014
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'The World to Come' film, Dan Reynolds, Broadway, Green Lantern
2021-03-07
The lesbian-themed film The World to Come is available to buy or rent, a press release noted. In this 19th-century romance (from Bleeker Street) that's set in the Northeast, Abigail (played by Katherine Waterston), a farmer's ...


Gay News

Music Box to run Pedro Almodovar films starting March 12
2021-03-04
On Friday, March 12, Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave., and Sony Pictures Classics will present Pedro Almodovar's critically acclaimed English-language debut, the short film The Human Voice, starring Tilda Swinton and freely based on ...


Gay News

Sisters in Cinema brings back Learn & Earn Program: Sisters in Cinema Newsroom
2021-03-02
--From a press release - CHICAGO, IL- Sisters in Cinema, a Chicago-based 501 (c)3 recently in the news for breaking ground on their new Media Arts Center, is proud to announce the return of their Sisters in Cinema Newsroom Program, and ...


Gay News

Awards season kicks off with 2021 Golden Globes
2021-03-01
The 78th Annual Golden Globes Awards were distributed Feb. 28 in a quasi-virtual event hosted by performers Tina Fey at the Rainbow Room in New York City and Amy Poehler at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly ...


Gay News

MOVIES Director Ali LeRoi on his LGBT time-loop film 'The Obituary of Tunde Johnson'
2021-02-28
The Obituary of Tunde Johnson is a movie with some familiar elements—but they're used to make a novel film. The movie uses the time-loop element that's probably most popular in the film Groundhog Day. However, director ...


Gay News

MOVIES Dutch journalist talks about making 'My Friend, the Mayor'
2021-02-17
In the Amazon Prime Video documentary My Friend, the Mayor: Small-town Democracy in the Age of Trump, Dutch journalist Max Westerman profiles friend Sean Strub, an openly gay activist, activist, long-term AIDS survivor and POZ magazine ...


Gay News

New dance film features 46 dancers from 20 countries
2021-02-17
Films.Dance—a global film series produced by and under the creative direction of LA-based Jacob Jonas The Company—continues with Match, the single most expansive collaboration in the 15-film series. Match features ...


Gay News

Showbiz: Jodie Foster, 'Aretha,' gospel singer, Cody Newman, gay actors
2021-02-14
While promoting her new film The Mauritanian, Jodie Foster said she "was a little scared of" acting alongside Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs, Yahoo! Entertainment noted. Of Silence (which has its 30th anniversary this ...


Gay News

LGBTQ+ film critics group unveils nominations
2021-02-11
The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics (GALECA) revealed the nominations for the 2021 Dorian Film Awards on Feb. 11. Minari leads the way with six nominations, including best film and best foreign-language film; Nomadland scored five ...


Gay News

MOVIES 'Wonder Woman 1984' coming to PVOD, Digital, Blu-Ray
2021-02-10
The movie Wonder Woman 1984—the sequel starring Gal Gadot, with Patty Jenkins as director—is arriving on Premium Video on Demand (PVOD), 4K, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital, according to a press release from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. ...


Gay News

Groundbreaking ceremony held for Sisters in Cinema Media Arts Center
2021-02-09
Sisters in Cinema held a press conference Feb. 8 at the South Shore Cultural Center to commemorate the construction of its new state-of-the-art Media Arts Center that will be at 2310 E. 75th St. The event, ...


Gay News

Sisters in Cinema groundbreaking Ceremony promises access, training in South Shore
2021-02-05
--From a press release - CHICAGO, IL - South Shore will soon have access to a state-of-the art media facility now that a local organization has begun construction on its new brick-and-mortar home. Sisters in Cinema, a 501(c)3 dedicated to celebrating ...


Gay News

Wizard World Chicago moved from June to August
2021-02-05
Wizard Brands, Inc. announced that its scheduled 2021 live event in Chicago has been postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions and in continued accordance with federal, state and local guidelines. Instead of the original dates of June ...


Gay News

SAG nominations announced; Boseman gets four nods
2021-02-04
Nominations for the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards were announced Feb. 4. On the film side, Deadline noted that the late Chadwick Boseman made SAG Awards nomination history by receiving four nominations: for his lead role ...


Gay News

Donald Trump resigns from SAG-AFTRA; group tersely responds
2021-02-04
Former U.S. President Donald Trump resigned from SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) after the organization's national board recently voted overwhelmingly to find probable cause of ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.