Ebert Was Our 'Ideal Companion' at the Movies

Wife, fellow critics reflect on his legacy

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 5, 2013 8:23 AM CDT

(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."

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 and popular film reviewer of his time who became the first journalist to win a Pulitzer Prize for...
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)
FILE - This 1986 photo shows Roger Ebert, right, and Gene Siskel in Los Angeles. Ebert, the nation's best-known film reviewer who with fellow critic Siskel created the template for succinct thumbs-up or thumbs-down movie reviews, died Thursday, April 4, 2013. He was 70.
FILE - This 1986 photo shows Roger Ebert, right, and Gene Siskel in Los Angeles. Ebert, the nation's best-known film reviewer who with fellow critic Siskel created the template for succinct thumbs-up...   (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac, File)
Roger Ebert arrives at the Independent Spirit Awards on Friday, March 5, 2010, in Los Angeles.
Roger Ebert arrives at the Independent Spirit Awards on Friday, March 5, 2010, in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Roger Ebert arrives at the Independent Spirit Awards on Friday, March 5, 2010, in Los Angeles.
Roger Ebert arrives at the Independent Spirit Awards on Friday, March 5, 2010, in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
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