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Life Itself
Magnolia Pictures




Overview -
HOOP DREAMS director Steve James creates a portrait of influential Chicago Sun Times film critic Roger Ebert. Officially an adaptation of Ebert's bestselling memoir of the same name, the documentary uses Ebert's valiant struggle with cancer as a structural device to examine his many career accomplishments. As a series of flashbacks take us through Ebert's colorful life and times, James periodically returns to his subject's traumatic last days in the hospital, where his wife Chaz and other loved ones prepare to say their last goodbyes. The result is a reverent meditation on the life and death of the writer whose passion for film was evident in every review he penned, but whose love of life taught his loyal readers to treasure every moment.

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Overview

HOOP DREAMS director Steve James creates a portrait of influential Chicago Sun Times film critic Roger Ebert. Officially an adaptation of Ebert's bestselling memoir of the same name, the documentary uses Ebert's valiant struggle with cancer as a structural device to examine his many career accomplishments. As a series of flashbacks take us through Ebert's colorful life and times, James periodically returns to his subject's traumatic last days in the hospital, where his wife Chaz and other loved ones prepare to say their last goodbyes. The result is a reverent meditation on the life and death of the writer whose passion for film was evident in every review he penned, but whose love of life taught his loyal readers to treasure every moment.

Main Cast & Crew

Steve James - Director

 

Details

DVD Format
  • Format: DVD
  • Run Time: 120
  • Color Format: Color
  • UPC: 876964008075
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Rating: R (MPAA) (brief sexual images/nudity and language)
  • Release Date: February 2015

Related Categories:
Movies > Musical & Performing Arts
Movies > Biography

Related Keywords:
Documentary
Seniors
Writers
Film History

 

Movie Reviews

More Details

Reviews:
5 stars out of 5 -- "A truly rounded, complex character emerges, especially in the central relationship with TV show co-host Gene Siskel, Ebert’s equal and opposite." - 11/10/2014 Total Film


4 stars out of 5 -- "A clear-eyed celebration of a giant of film writing." - 11/07/2014 Empire


"With the man's passing, American film lost not just an inimitable figure but a voice that was as forceful and distinctive as it was ubiquitous." - 12/01/2014 Sight and Sound


"[A]n affectionate documentary profile of the late writer….The film is honest, not hagiographic." -- Grade: A- - 07/03/2014 A.V. Club


3 stars out of 4 -- "The career of influential film critic Roger Ebert is explored affectionately in the poignant documentary LIFE ITSELF…" - 07/03/2015 USA Today


"Although LIFE ITSELF traces Ebert's amazing career from the neighborhood newsletter he published as a kid through the 300 reviews he managed to file the year before he passed away, the film is really a love story -- his love of words, of movies, and of Chaz." -- Grade: A - 07/09/2014 Entertainment Weekly


3.5 stars out of 4 -- "The film is really a love story between Roger and his courageous wife, Chaz, and Roger and the movies. He let the world flow into his plain-spoken reviews…" - 07/09/2015 Rolling Stone


"LIFE ITSELF is a work of deftness and delicacy, by turns a film about illness and death, about writing, about cinema and, finally, and very movingly a film about love." - 07/03/2014 New York Times


"[Roger Ebert] did things his own way, and LIFE ITSELF, a fine and moving new documentary that tells his story, shows us how and why he stood out." - 07/03/2014 Los Angeles Times


"James gives Ebert his due, not only as the first movie reviewer to win the Pulitzer Prize, but as a towering cultural figure and, finally, an unpretentious, ink-stained philosopher." - 07/03/2014 Washington Post

 

BAM Customer Reviews