Many years ago, silent film star Lillian Gish observed: “Hollywood is an emotional Detroit, where you buy a catharsis instead of a car.” So we know movies are emotionally manipulative, but the much lauded TV writer/director Dan Fogelman (creator of “This Is Us”) pushes the sentimentality envelope too far in this mawkish, multigenerational melodrama.Read more
In Life Itself, filmmaker Steve James chronicles Roger Ebert’s life, paying tribute to the film critic who defined cinema asRead more
Film critic Roget Ebert knew he wouldn’t live to see this documentary based on his 2011 memoir of the same name. In a particularly poignant scene, he tells director Steve James (“Hoop Dreams”) that he knows that his thyroid cancer has metastasized to his spine, saying, “It is likely I will have passed when the film is ready.” Indeed, Ebert died in April, 2013, at age 70.
It’s unnerving. Sometimes writing a film review can feel like a confession. While some like to believe that critics asRead more
Opening July 4, the AWFJ Movie of the Week is Life Itself, filmmaker Steve James’ moving tribute to America’s favorite movie critic, Roger Ebert, the Chicago Sun-Times’ Pulitzer Prize-winner who became a household name when he and critical colleague Gene Siskel, co-starring on PBS’ Sneak Previews, coined the phrase “Two thumbs up!” Based on Ebert’s eponymous memoir, the documentary recounts Ebert’s life with reverence and deep respect. It’s thumbs up from AWFJ! Read on…Read more