July 08, 2014

Life Itself (2014)

Life Itself (2014) - Movie Review
Directed by: Steve James
Country: USA

Movie Review: “Life Itself” is a biographical documentary that homages one of the most prolific and acclaimed film critics of all times, Roger Ebert. It covers his life, not in complete detail, but in a practical and objective way, since its youth when he started working for Chicago Sun-Times until his harrowing final moments and consequent death last year from cancer. One of the most interesting aspects focused in the film was the love-hate relationship with other competitive film critic, Gene Siskel, of the rival Chicago Tribune, and the TV shows that both of them starred since the mid 70’s. Sometimes they seemed two little boys with a big ego, fighting for their ideas. Known for having introduced the ‘thumbs up and thumbs down’ on film reviews, Ebert had a very unique personality and his passion for movies was absolutely undeniable, to the point of analyzing an entire film frame-by-frame. His amazing aptitude to write perfect reviews gave him a Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 1975, while his particular taste for women, and the alcohol addiction in a determined phase of his life were also unveiled. The film presents the testimonials of his wife Chaz, colleagues in the profession, and filmmakers Rahmin Bahrani and Marin Scorsese who emotionally thanked Ebert. Directed by the documentarian Steve James (“The Interrupters”), “Life Itself”, is a sincere and deserved tribute to a courageous man who is still present on film in so many ways. It was conducted in the right direction, even if tough to watch.

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