The 2022 Chicago Critics Film Festival begins Friday, May 13, at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave., Chicago, and includes seven days of new films and revival screenings curated by critics including festival producers Erik Childress, of eFilmCritic.com, and Brian Tallerico, president of the Chicago Film Critics Association.
The lineup begins at 7 p.m. Friday with “Cha Cha Real Smooth,” about a recent college graduate (writer/director Cooper Raiff) who gets a job as a “motivational dancer” and forges a relationship with a young mom (Dakota Johnson, fresh off her great performance in “The Lost Daughter”). Raiff will be in attendance for the opening screening.
Other highlights on the schedule:
• “To Leslie,” starring Andrea Riseborough (“Mandy”) as a lottery winner who spends all her money and erstwhile podcaster Marc Maron as a motel manager who helps her out. Director Michael Morris will be in attendance. (7 p.m. Saturday)
• “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande,” a comedy in which Emma Thompson plays a schoolteacher who hires a young man to, uh, liven up her life. Doing press earlier this year at the Berlin International Film Festival, Thompson said that her nude scene in this film was “the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do” as an actor. (6 p.m. Thursday, May 19)
• Standup comedian Patton Oswalt will be in attendance for the festival’s closing film, “I Love My Dad,” in which he plays a father trying to repair his relationship with his son (writer/director James Morosini). (8:15 p.m. Thursday, May 19)
• Revival screenings of two ’90s favorites are on the schedule as well: a 4K digital presentation of Francis Ford Coppola’s “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” (11:59 p.m. Saturday) and a 35 mm print of Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Boogie Nights” (7 p.m. Monday).
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See the full schedule at chicagocriticsfilmfestival.com/ and purchase tickets online at musicboxtheatre.com. Single screenings cost $15, and a festival pass is available for $150.
A normal day in the life of Texas housewife Candy Montgomery (Jessica Biel) turns sour when she visits her neighbor (Melanie Lynskey) in “Candy,” now streaming on Hulu. – Courtesy of Hulu Weekend binge
“Candy,” a five-part limited series that premiered this week on Hulu, might be just the thing for your lazy Sunday. The true-crime drama features a remarkable performance by Jessica Biel, who is by turns endearing, unsettling and hilarious as the title character, a Texas mom accused of killing her neighbor (the always tremendous Melanie Lynskey) in 1980. Veteran TV director Michael Uppendahl (“Fargo,” “American Horror Story”) sets the bar high in the time-shifting premiere, which nails the suburban aesthetic of the time and bathes it in warm, sunny tones.
The finale premieres Friday, May 13, so all episodes will be streaming this weekend.
• Sean Stangland is an assistant news editor who hadn’t seen Jessica Biel in anything since “Blade: Trinity.” She’s come a long way!