The Movie Snob sees a tribute to a colleague.
Life Itself (B). Director Steve James (Hoop Dreams) brings us this movie about the life and times of world-famous movie critic Roger Ebert. I thought it was very well done, going all the way back to his upbringing as an only child, his college years and his early years in journalism, and then his ascent to stardom after he became (and not at his own request) the movie critic for the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper. Of course there’s a decent amount of material about his TV show and rocky relationship with fellow movie critic Gene Siskel, who predeceased him by several years. There is also lots of footage of Ebert’s sadly debilitated final years, after two bouts of cancer in the area of his lower jaw. Ultimately, his jawbone had to be removed, and he never spoke, or orally ate or drank, again. Watching Ebert struggle with rehab and his declining health, and the suffering of his wife Chaz, really becomes rather hard to watch by the end. But it’s a good movie and worth seeing–even if a little horrifying to those of us who are getting to be a certain age.