Year: 2014

‘Heaven Is For Real’ tests the strength of faith

“Heaven Is For Real” (2014). Cast: Greg Kinnear, Kelly Reilly, Connor Corum, Thomas Haden Church, Margo Martindale, Lane Styles, Jacob Vargas, Thanya Romero, Danso Gordon, Nancy Sorel, Ursula Clark, Mike Mohrhardt. Director: Randall Wallace. Screenplay: Chris Parker and Randall Wallace. Book: Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent, Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back. Web site. Trailer. How truly steadfast are we when it comes to our beliefs? And what are the implications for those of us who harbor doubts about what we claim to believe? Under such circumstances, our faith is sure to be put to the test, a notion explored in the new divinely inspired, fact-based drama, “Heaven Is For Real.” Life in rural Imperial, Nebraska is good but challenging for the Burpo family. Todd Burpo (Greg Kinnear), the likable pastor of a local church, wears many hats to serve his community and provide for his wife, Sonja (Kelly Reilly), and two children, Cassie (Lane Styles) and Colton (Connor Corum). Todd generally approaches his challenges joyfully, but he nonetheless struggles to cope with his share of financial issues, nagging health ailments and the daily routine of raising a family. Still, ...
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A Wonderful Evening at World Book Night

A Wonderful Evening at World Book Night

I had a wonderful time last evening at the Chicago celebration of World Book Night! The official Windy City function was a reception and book reading at the Book Cellar bookstore in Lincoln Square sponsored by the Chicago Writers Conference and Chicago Women in Publishing. I had a chance to meet fellow authors and to introduce them to my new book, “Consciously Created Cinema.” I even had a chance to swap books with featured presenter Scott Turow! What a wonderful evening and an even more wonderful group of people! And thanks to my partner Trevor for joining me for support (and photography!). Photos by Trevor Laster ...
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World Book Night!

World Book Night!

How will you be spending World Book Night? I’ll be attending a reception sponsored by the Chicago Writers Conference and Chicago Women in Publishing at the Book Cellar Cafe! Here’s hoping you’re able to enjoy a function in your area celebrating this wonderful event! For more about one of the sponsors of the Chicago event, click here ...
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Back on the Radio This Week!

Back on the Radio This Week!

I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be a guest on the Blog Talk Radio show “Padaran” with host Daya Devi-Doolin this Thursday, April 24, at 2 pm Eastern. Tune in for some insightful chat by clicking here ...
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‘The Great Beauty’ urges us to look at our lives

“The Great Beauty” (“La grande bellazza”) (2013). Cast: Toni Servillo, Sabrina Ferilli, Carlo Verdone, Serena Grandi, Carlo Buccirosso, Pamela Villoresi, Luca Marinelli, Giusi Merli, Roberto Herlitzka, Giovanna Vignola, Iaia Forte, Massimo De Francovich, Vernon Dobtcheff, Galatea Ranzi, Giorgio Pasotti, Isabella Ferrari, Luciano Virgilio, Annaluisa Capasa, Flavio Mieli. Director: Paolo Sorrentino. Screenplay: Paolo Sorrentino and Umberto Contarello. Story: Paolo Sorrentino. Web site. Trailer. Taking stock of where we stand in our lives can be a very rewarding – and revelatory – experience. Sometimes we affirm what we already know, but, in other instances, we come to conclusions that come as surprising, if not shocking or perhaps even disillusioning. That’s just the sort of exercise an aging protagonist pursues in the profoundly moving, often hilarious Italian comedy-drama, “The Great Beauty” (“La grande bellazza”). Celebrating one’s 65th birthday should be a joyous occasion. But, for journalist and one-time novelist Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo), the event evokes mixed emotions. The longtime fixture of Rome’s social scene throws an outrageous party for himself, one where all of the city’s beautiful people and celebrity elite turn out for a full-blown hedonistic bacchanal. It’s not unlike many of the evenings Jep has spent over the years, long, ...
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A Trip to the Archives

A Trip to the Archives

In case you missed my lively radio interview with Doreen Agostino on Align Shine Prosper this past Sunday, you can still catch it on the Blog Talk Radio archives, available for listening any time, by clicking here ...
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