Here’s the long and Shortz of it?”the documentary “Wordplay,” directed by Riverside-born-and-raised Patrick Creadon and produced by his wife Christine O’Malley.

The film about New York Times Crossword Editor Will Shortz opened in Chicago at the Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema and the Thursday night screening included a large contingent of family members and friends. Creadon himself was not in attendance but arrived in Chicago on Saturday for the weekend performances to take part in a question-and-answer forum after the viewing of the movie.

The reviews have come in, and it has received raves. Tribune movie critic Michael Phillips gave it three stars and extensive space in the Saturday edition of the paper. Friends from California, originally from Riverside, e-mailed a review from the Los Angeles Herald giving the movie a great review.

People magazine in its “Picks and Pans section” gave space to “Wordplay” along with a three-star rating. The film has been getting good publicity, and from what I understand, it is well deserved. As I write this column, I am looking forward to watching a scheduled interview with Creadon on WTTW.

According to Creadon’s mother, Carol, her son has been on a whirlwind with the film and currently is back in California to work on the release of the DVD version of the film. The family had hoped Creadon and O’Malley would be able to spend some time “home” in Riverside but commitments didn’t allow for a longer visit.

As one who loves to watch the Oscars, I predict “Wordplay” will be nominated in the documentary division. I can’t recall a documentary film receiving so much attention since “March of the Penguins,” and we all know how well it did. Time to roll out the red carpet!

Having known the Creadon family for so many years, it is nice to see nice things happen to nice people. The Creadon family has a long history with Riverside, and with the success of Patrick Creadon another chapter is being written.

More Riverside in film

The movie “The Lake House,” shot partially in Riverside made its way to the big screen recently. Stars Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves have been promoting it on all of the talk shows.

Why did I think they would say something about the nice little town where they shot some of the scenes? The reviews can’t compare to “Wordplay” and I haven’t seen yet. But some friends have been to the movies, and have given a couple of local reviews.

Riversider June Campana didn’t care that much for it, while North Riversiders Claudia and June Zelenka liked it, so you will have to decide for yourself. They all did comment on staying to watch the credits roll hoping to see Riverside being mentioned. They were disappointed it wasn’t in the list of locations. Well, we all know it happened here!

Have a fantastic Fourth

July 4 is coming up and, as always, have a safe Fourth and go easy with the fireworks. Leave them to the professionals. Look to The Landmark (page 3 of this week’s edition) for all the festivities in the area.

Congratulations to the Riverside Recreation Department on their choice on this year’s grand marshal of the parade. I’ll leave you to be surprised, but it’s a choice you will all agree upon.