Ebert Was Our 'Ideal Companion' at the Movies
Wife, fellow critics reflect on his legacy
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Apr 5, 2013 8:23 AM CDT
FILE - In this Sept. 13, 2009 file photo, film critic Roger Ebert attends a Blackberry Loves Mavericks cocktail reception during the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto. Ebert, the most famous...   (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, File)

(Newser) – Following Roger Ebert's passing, voices across the country are remembering his landmark contribution to film criticism—as well as his companionship.

  • At Variety, Justin Chang reflects on Ebert's "characteristic good nature and genuine delight in engaging with his readers—the very qualities that made him, for so many of us, an ideal companion at the movies." He goes on to salute "the consummate grace of Ebert’s voice—that inimitable blend of wit, erudition, amiability, and common sense—that made him our most important and indispensable film critic."

  • The New York Times calls Ebert likely "the best-known film reviewer of his generation, and one of the most trusted ... The force and grace of his opinions propelled film criticism into the mainstream of American culture," writes Douglas Martin. "Not only did he advise moviegoers about what to see, but also how to think about what they saw."
  • The Chicago Sun-Times, his longtime stomping grounds, praises his "stunning work ethic," noting that "we who felt such intense pride in being Chicago Sun-Times journalists simply because Roger was one of us ... were all better for his example and friendship."
  • His wife offers a poignant statement, per NPR, on "my husband, my friend, my confidante, and oh-so-brilliant partner of over 20 years." Their romance, Chaz Ebert says, was "more beautiful and epic than a movie." Though he was "happy," she notes, "he was also getting tired of his fight with cancer, and said if this takes him, he has lived a great and full life."

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Showing 3 of 6 comments
Apr 6, 2013 8:40 AM CDT
Regularly looked up Mr. Ebert's reviews for fresh insight and was often satisfied in them either when I was unfamiliar with the movie in question or else found myself mostly in agreement with him when he addressed older films. Not many will meet his standards in fairness. Still, there are for me the critics irreplaceable and timeless: James Agee; Raymond Durgnat; Stanley Kauffman; Parker Tyler; André Bazin; Eric Rohmer; Jean-Luc Goddard; Francois Truffaut; Stefan Kanfer; Guillermo Cabrera Infante (as G. Caín); Andrew Sarris (auteur theory - schmarteur theory); Jay Cocks; Robin Wood.
Apr 5, 2013 6:56 PM CDT
Poor bastard had to struggle with cancer for many years. He sure didn't give up - RIP
Apr 5, 2013 12:25 PM CDT
Best book title ever -- "Your Movie Sucks". These people who keep saying that he wasn't the best movie reviewer ever have completely missed the point. I'll miss you, Roger. Rest in peace. And thanks for trying to warn me off of "Alexander". That movie really did suck.