Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Ebert Ethic

You don't go to a Roger Ebert review looking for a generic overview of a movie to see if it's worth seeing or not. True, the whole thumbs up/thumbs down dynamic was created to serve this basic premise, but it's not what's good about Ebert's writing.

What Roger Ebert brings to his reviews is a humane worldview, intellect, humor, and an admirable desire to judge a film by the standards it establishes for itself. If the equation doesn't add up in our world, that's alright, so long as it stays consistent throughout the course of the work.

I've been reading Ebert's reviews for years, and I just started reading his blog, which is available on his main site. It's a good look behind the scenes. I was appreciative of this post , that he wrote about a correspondance he had with one of the blog's regular commentors. In it he talks about the power of affirmation and redemption in film, and a few of the films he has seen that have best represented these qualities.

I'm not sure if there's a critic out there who has the cheeks to fill this guy's chair when he decides it's time to exit the theater.

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