I've been a movie critic for 14 years, and I don't harbor any delusions about the importance of modern-day movie critics. I watch movies. I write my opinions about those movies in hopefully helpful - or at least entertaining - ways.
I’ve been a movie critic for 14 years, and I don’t harbor any delusions about the importance of modern-day movie critics. I watch movies. I write my opinions about those movies in hopefully helpful — or at least entertaining — ways.
It’s safe to say there will never be another Roger Ebert, partly because the game has changed and partly because his voice was so loud and clear on the scene. Ebert was a veracious lover of movies and a writer for the people. He believed you didn’t need to understand film theory to love movies — a lesson I wish many in the film writing business would take to heart.
Documentarian Steve James takes on the bold challenge of telling Roger’s story in “Life Itself” — a documentary lauded almost universally by critics, if that sort of thing matters. I’ll add my voice to that chorus.
Through interviews with colleagues and friends, as well as intimate footage of some of Roger’s last days (James began the project before Ebert’s death) “Life Itself” is a deeply moving portrait, both of Ebert’s rise and of the slow decline of his health.
James — who had known Ebert since the critic was an early champion of the filmmaker’s “Hoop Dreams” — has created an superb biography, a movie worth of the man who loved movies like no other. Bring hankies.