Excerpt: we see how the man who’d literally lost his voice procured a new one via his blog where he wrote about everything under the sun and if there’s a weakness in this film it is that we don’t hear enough about this fine work.
Excerpt: Life Itself really isn’t Steve James’ kind of movie. James likes to spread into his subjects’ lives, take in the long horizon through his own observations. It is in the footage of the day to day of Ebert’s final few months that James finds familiar ground, and it is here where the film really comes alive.
Excerpt: The latter scenes with his wife Chaz contrast with his often cantankerous relationship with his famous cohort Gene Siskel. Although those displays are where the documentary soars, the final act provides a poignant coda on the life of a man who left an indelible legacy on film criticism.
Excerpt: It’s filled with biographical information, clips of films, great anecdotes, and loving reminiscences. But what lingers is the sight of Ebert in the hospital, propped up in a wheelchair with a keyboard on his lap, determined to put down more words.
Excerpt: This is not a sponge-cleaned prepackaged documentaries that glorifies Ebert as a product, but rather the bittersweet story of a kid who came from a small town in down-state Illinois, fell in love with journalism, developed a deep passion for the movies, and became famous by being lucky enough to talk about it on television.