Life Itself is the gripping, heartwarming, detailed and powerful story of the inimitable Roger Ebert, the beloved film critic from the Chicago Sun-Times (as well as scriptwriter, author and all around media giant). Mr. Ebert passed away in April 2013, but a major part of this film was to document his battle with the cancer that he would ultimately lose.
Filmmaker Steve James plays an integral part in keeping Mr. Ebert engaged as he struggles with the deadly disease; at the same time, he has the opportunity to speak with some of Mr. Ebert’s closest friends and colleagues, his beloved wife Chaz, who helped keep him fighting and clips of the now-legendary squabbles with his television partner, the late Gene Siskel. Amongst the few revelations that would be considered surprising, that Roger Ebert had a serious drinking problem or that he really loved Siskel like the older brother he never had. This film shows Mr. Ebert in a very human, very frail light – especially going through what he was experiencing, which makes him even more human and endearing.
A complete success, Life Itself is a thoughtful and worthwhile investment in time; to have greater glimpse of a life that played a small part in most of ours.
Life Itself can be seen now on InDemand on certain cable systems. Check your carrier.