It’s hard to not be emotional about the passing of Roger Ebert, who died today at the age of 70 after a long struggle with thyroid cancer, considering he was the only critic I trusted and agreed with 99.9% of the time. (The .01% being horror movies and video games not being art.)
Without him, I would have thought that all reviewers were ignoramuses, paid off by the studios or overly invested in tip-toeing around bashing something that will likely appeal to the majority, or praising something that might not.
Who are we left with, without Roger? Peter Travers makes my stomach churn (still reeling from the two and a half stars he gave to the American remake of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and the three and a half given to the mediocre Haywire), and Richard Roeper is too nice.
Like George Takei and Nora Ephron, not-so-young Ebert managed to stay relevant in today’s fast-paced blogging culture, continuing to speak through his writing on Chicago Sun-Times after he’d lost his voice during surgery in 2006.
He had a lot to say about life, as well as movies. In his last ever blog post, he wrote words that personally inspired me. Moments before I went to start writing about what he said, I learned of his death.
The last line he ever wrote served as a proper goodbye to his friends, family and fans.
So on this day of reflection I say again, thank you for going on this journey with me. I’ll see you at the movies.
Sinead O’Connor said it best. Nothing compares to you.