Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Berlin Review: Could 'War on Everyone' Be the Best Bad Cop Comedy Ever? Berlin Review: Could 'War on Everyone' Be the Best Bad Cop Comedy Ever? Berlin Review: With 'Midnight Special,' Jeff Nichols Offers Up a Very Special Sci-Fi Thriller Berlin Review: With 'Midnight Special,' Jeff Nichols Offers Up a Very Special Sci-Fi Thriller How They Designed the Characters and Sounds for the Oscar-Nominated 'Mad Max: Fury Road' How They Designed the Characters and Sounds for the Oscar-Nominated 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Meryl Streep to Fund The Writers Lab, Supporting Women Screenwriters Over 40 (EXCLUSIVE) Meryl Streep to Fund The Writers Lab, Supporting Women Screenwriters Over 40 (EXCLUSIVE) Oscar Predictions 2016 Oscar Predictions 2016 Roger Deakins on Shooting Hollywood From the Inside Out in 'Hail, Caesar!' (Video) Roger Deakins on Shooting Hollywood From the Inside Out in 'Hail, Caesar!' (Video) A Letter to Michael B. Jordan A Letter to Michael B. Jordan Bona Fide Acquires Movie Rights to Knausgaard New York Times Series 'My Saga' for Alexander Payne (EXCLUSIVE) Bona Fide Acquires Movie Rights to Knausgaard New York Times Series 'My Saga' for Alexander Payne (EXCLUSIVE) WATCH: 9 Oscar-Nominated Screenwriters on How They Got Their Start, Their Writing Process, and Much More WATCH: 9 Oscar-Nominated Screenwriters on How They Got Their Start, Their Writing Process, and Much More Inside the Oscar Nominees Lunch Inside the Oscar Nominees Lunch How John Ridley and Company Create the Emotional Resonance of 'American Crime' How John Ridley and Company Create the Emotional Resonance of 'American Crime' Top 10 Takeaways:  'Hail, Caesar!' Leads Three New Releases—Which Barely Total $20 Million Top 10 Takeaways: 'Hail, Caesar!' Leads Three New Releases—Which Barely Total $20 Million 'Deadpool' Review & Roundup: Ryan Reynolds Finds a Franchise Worthy of His Talents 'Deadpool' Review & Roundup: Ryan Reynolds Finds a Franchise Worthy of His Talents Arthouse Audit: 'The Club' and 'Rams' Reveal Weakness in Subtitled Film Market Arthouse Audit: 'The Club' and 'Rams' Reveal Weakness in Subtitled Film Market Inside the Directors Guild Awards Inside the Directors Guild Awards Joel & Ethan Coen Crack Each Other Up, And Me, Talking About 'Hail, Caesar!' Joel & Ethan Coen Crack Each Other Up, And Me, Talking About 'Hail, Caesar!' Why George Miller Should Win DGA Award and Directing Oscar for 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Why George Miller Should Win DGA Award and Directing Oscar for 'Mad Max: Fury Road' WATCH: Oscar Nominee Tom Hardy Explains Why Shooting 'The Revenant' Was So Bloody Hard (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO) WATCH: Oscar Nominee Tom Hardy Explains Why Shooting 'The Revenant' Was So Bloody Hard (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO) How They Created the Bear VFX for the Mauling of Leonardo DiCaprio in 'The Revenant' How They Created the Bear VFX for the Mauling of Leonardo DiCaprio in 'The Revenant' What Happened to Scorsese's $70-Million Short 'The Audition' Starring DiCaprio, De Niro and Pitt? What Happened to Scorsese's $70-Million Short 'The Audition' Starring DiCaprio, De Niro and Pitt?

Ebert Calls Hiatus on Movie Review Show: Let It Go, Roger

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood December 1, 2011 at 1:25PM

Roger Ebert is a superman. I am currently buried in his must-read memoir, "Life Itself," which is a pleasure to go back to every night. The man can write. And he is trying to hang on, bless him, to his new TV review show, "Ebert Presents At The Movies." He and wife/producer Chaz Ebert have been financing their show themselves, with help from the Kanbar Charitable Trust. In his most recent blog post on the subject, Ebert is checking out a Kickstarter campaign as he takes the show on hiatus.
42
Christy Lemire and Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
Christy Lemire and Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

Roger Ebert is a superman. I am currently buried in his must-read memoir, "Life Itself," which is a pleasure to go back to every night. The man can write. And he is trying to hang on, bless him, to his new TV review show, "Ebert Presents At The Movies." He and wife/producer Chaz Ebert have been financing their show themselves, with help from the Kanbar Charitable Trust. In his most recent blog post on the subject, Ebert is checking out a Kickstarter campaign as he takes the show on hiatus.

People have been very supportive. We've spoken to the top executives of several channels and film distributors, charitable foundations, web delivery services, potential corporate sponsors, and crowd-funding sources. And we are still talking with them, but the time crunch has intervened. It is a complicated process, and so we are going on hiatus while we sort it out. During this period I've been moved by the determination of Chaz and our team to push ahead. We really believe in this show and its mission to provide an intelligent place for the discussion of movies in a forum accessible to the public, and in a manner that is easily understood yet that feeds the thirst for both entertainment and knowledge.

Ebert, until he lost his voice to cancer, was able to hang on tenaciously to Disney/ABC's "At the Movies" after the death of his best and most evenly matched sparring partner, rival Chicago critic Gene Siskel of The Chicago Tribune. While I enjoyed the revisits to Ebert & Siskel episodes past on the reconstituted show this year, and commend the Eberts for trying to bring a new smart review show back to television, unfortunately the voiceless Ebert could not provide the show with his full-throated personality. He tried typing with voiceover, and replaying past shows, but his new reviewers, perky eager-to-please blonde Christy Lemire (A.P.) and smug gap-toothed upstart Ignatiy Vishnevetsky (Chicago Reader and Mubi) simply lacked the right stuff.

Women film critics on television walk a tightrope: while they write with authority in print, on camera they instinctively soft-pedal their opinions so as not to come off shrill or harsh. Meanwhile men are free to be as arrogant and know-it-all as they like. It's an unfair match. Lemire knew more than her younger less experienced partner, but he was more aggressive about winning arguments and not letting her get a word in edgewise. I found them annoying. I wanted her to stand up to him and I wanted him to shut up.

So. Roger and Chaz: you tried. Let it go. Ebert is hugely successful as the new model critic in print and online who uses social media as well as anyone. His book is a bestseller, no surprise. Onward.

This article is related to: Critics, Reviews, Books, TV


E-Mail Updates






Festivals on TOH



Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.