Synopsis & Film Details
Filmworks presents the American independent documentary “Life Itself,” which explores the life of world-renowned film critic and social commentator Roger Ebert. Based on his best-selling memoir of the same name, the movie recounts Ebert’s inspiring and entertaining life, from writing his Pulitzer Prize-winning film criticism to becoming one of the most influential cultural commentators in America. Filmmaker Steve James, who directed “Hoop Dreams,” creates a personal, funny, painful, and transcendent story about the man who helped create the popular “Thumbs up, Thumbs down” movie review system. James earned unprecedented access to Ebert and his wife, Chaz, during the final four months of the film critic’s life. In that time, his crew captured Ebert’s fighting spirit, his sharp sense of humor, and the ways he directly inspired filmmakers, families, and fans. Ebert’s body of work stands as a great populist monument — accessible inspiration for the next generations of cinema lovers. The Hollywood Reporter calls the documentary “engrossing” and “unflinching,” a definitive document of the man who forever changed what it meant to be at the movies.
Director: Steve James
USA (2014) • 115 minutes • Rated R