Two Thumbs Up to Roger Ebert and the Movies | Chaz’s Journal

According to our frequent contributor Marya E. Gates, “The review that I always return to is his review of “only you“It’s so lovely and emotional and takes the film on its own terms. The very last line has stuck with me for decades. I read it when I need a pick me up.” Here are the final words of the review: “Norman Jewison, who directs ‘Only You’ with a light, smiling touch, began his directing career just as movies like this were going out of style. He directed Doris Day in ‘The Thrill of It All’ (1963), co-starring James Garner, and in ‘Send Me No Flowers’ (1964), with Rock Hudson, and I hope Marisa Tomei understands it is a compliment when I say that in ‘Only You’ she has some of Doris Day’s sunny warmth. I suppose Doris Day is out of fashion, and so are movies like ‘Only You,’ but just because something is not done anymore doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing.”

Our Far Flung Correspondent from Brazil, Pablo Villaca, one of the film critics we met online whose works we so admired that we began publishing them on our site, writes: “‘By its eternity I measure my time’, Roger wrote about ‘The Dolce Life‘. That sentence by itself tells us what a masterful writer he was. He didn’t need long words or long sentences to convey complex thoughts and feelings. With one more word than the mythic six that Hemingway posited in his famous challenge, Roger told us the story of his life and the importance of Art itself. What made Roger so powerful as a writer, however, was not merely his talent, but his immense sensibility and his unparalleled humanity. He understood how a picture could tell us different stories and make us understand deep changes within ourselves even if the movie itself never changed at all. Marcello was always the same mirror and, in a sense, the reflection in its surface was always the same – it was Roger who kept changing, maturing, growing as a human being and, as a result, seeing his reflection under new lights and in new positions.”

As for another cherished contributor, Donald Liebenson, his favorite Roger review evokes memories of another April month from the past. “Of the two new films released on the weekend of April 15, 1983, ‘Lone Wolf McQuaid’ starring Chuck Norris topped ‘Flashdance’ at the box office,” he wrote. “I’ll repeat that: ‘Lone Wolf McQuaid’ topped ‘Flashdance’ at the box office. Meanwhile, in Chicago, ‘LocalHero‘ opened on one screen at Water Tower Place. It took roughly two months before it had made its way to Chicago. Its star, Peter Reigert, is not Chuck Norris when it comes to putting asses in the seats. But Roger’s four-star review compelled me to give Bill Forsyth’s whimsical village comedy a go. Roger had me at, ‘Here is a small film to treasure, a loving, funny, understated portrait of a small Scottish town and its encounter with a giant oil company.’

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.