It's telling that in the year since Roger Ebert's death, no one has even come close to replacing him as America's film critic, a voice that reached both cinephiles and the average moviegoer, providing meaty sustenance for the former, while never alienating the latter. Ebert made the movies accessible, celebrated their artistic form, and championed films both big and small. He's still very much missed, but the upcoming "Life Itself" is a fitting eulogy.
With production beginning before Ebert's health problems would recur and ultimately lead to his passing, director Steve James ("Hoop Dreams," "The Interrupters") was granted unique access to the critic and he makes the most of it. "Life Itself" is not only a excellent tribute to the director, but an informative look at his life and career, his relationship with Gene Siskel, his life-changing marriage and so much more. As we said out of Sundance, "Roger Ebert was a movie lover, and this is the kind of movie he would have loved."
"Life Itself" opens on July 4th. Watch below.