"And the purpose of civilization and growth is to be able to reach out and empathize a little bit with other people. And for me the movies are like a machine that generates empathy. It lets you understand a little bit more about different hopes, aspirations, dreams, and fears. It helps us to identify with the people who are sharing this journey with us."
James' multi-layered documentary showcases a great figure in American cinema in all its beautifully flawed dimension, and someone who loved film as much as Ebert wouldn't have anything else. A great (and touching) accomplishment.
To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try.
A tremendously moving story about Roger Ebert's life (and death), and as such – almost unnecessary to rate. I recommend it with my heart! But... as filmmaking, it is a bit tedious and passive. Yet it never gets in the way for Ebert's character, and all in all a satisfying film to watch.
The movies are indeed an empathy machine that need to be reviewed within their own genre and target audience parameters.No one understood this better than Roger Ebert who love him or hate him for mainstreaming film criticism has left his thumb print forever in popular culture. James' warm and humanistic film offers a true reveal of the man in his final days without shying away from the foibles as well as the virtues.
A true soldier of cinema as Herzog put it, amazing to know that a film critic could be so influential to emerging filmmakers in their own time, from Ramin Bahrani, to Martin Scorcese, to Errol Morris and beyond. James does an excellent job giving a balanced view of this fascinating man who lead quite an extraordinary life. 2 thumbs up!
Oversimplifies criticisms of S&E. It's true that they gave some small movies the spotlight, but there are many, many movies they never deigned to acknowledge. But still, a very moving, non-hagiographic tribute to the man.
Here is a film that beautifully captures the aura the great, towering writer and cinephille, showing him as the public saw him and perceived him to be and then showed his sad, heartbreaking internal through the struggle and pain he faced at the end of his life as well as the private ones faced with addiction and personal conduct. To quote the man himself, I give the film a big thumbs up!