For a film with a daring director, a talented cast, a captivating plot or, ideally, all three, there could be no better advocate than Roger Ebert, who passionately celebrated and promoted excellence in film while deflating the awful, the derivative, or the merely mediocre with an observant eye, a sharp wit and a depth of knowledge that delighted his millions of readers and viewers. ‘No good film is too long,’ he once wrote, a sentiment he felt strongly enough about to have engraved on pens. ‘No bad movie is short enough.’ Ebert, 70, who reviewed movies for the Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years and on TV for 31 years, and who was without question the nation’s most prominent and influential film critic, died Thursday in Chicago.
Perhaps more than most writers he had such a profound impact on me wanting to make a career out of writing/being a critic. But, it was his humanity in the face of such monumental health challenges towards the end of his life that had such a profound impact on me as a person.
Two thumbs up, however, for a life well-lived.