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Life Itself


Now in Theatres, On Demand and on iTunes

     

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Acclaimed director Steve James (Hoop Dreams) and executive producers Martin Scorsese (The Departed) and Steven Zaillian (Moneyball) present LIFE ITSELF, a documentary film that recounts the inspiring and entertaining life of world-renowned film critic and social commentator Roger Ebert – a story that is by turns personal, funny, painful, and transcendent. Based on his bestselling memoir of the same name, LIFE ITSELF, explores the legacy of Roger Ebert’s life, from his Pulitzer Prize-winning film criticism at the Chicago Sun-Times to becoming one of the most influential cultural voices in America.

PRODUCTION TEAM

Directed by Steve James

Produced by Zak Piper, Steve James, Garrett Basch

Executive Producers: Martin Scorsese, Steven Zaillian, Michael W. Ferro, Jr., Gordon Quinn, Justine Nagan, Kat White, Mark Mitten

Executive Producers, CNN Films: Vinnie Malhorta, Amy Entelis

Co-Producers: Emily Hart, Mark Mitten, Josh Schollmeyer

Supervising Producers, CNN Films: Courtney Sexton, Lizzie Kerner

Cinematographer Dana Kupper

Music by Joshua Abrams

Edited by David E Simpson, Steve James

Post-Production Supervisor: Ryan Gleeson

CAST

 

“A THRILLING TALE WITH UNFORGETTABLE CHARACTERS. Ebert’s life contained as much melodrama, tragedy and uplift as any weepie movie he reviewed. Any biographical documentary demands onscreen star quality, and this one has a hero and a heroine worth rooting for.” – Richard Corliss, Time

“**** TREMENDOUSLY MOVING EVEN IF YOU HAVEN’T BEEN TO THE MOVIES IN YEARS. It is simply a great story.” – Ty Burr, Boston Globe

“IF YOU AREN’T MOVED BY “LIFE ITSELF,” YOU OUGHT TO HAVE YOUR HEART EXAMINED.A soaring, delightfully entertaining testament to the power and poetry of words. And cinema. And love.” – Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

“A work of deftness and delicacy, by turns a film about illness and death, about writing, about cinema AND, FINALLY, AND VERY MOVINGLY, A FILM ABOUT LOVE.” – Geoffrey O’Brien, New York Times

“DEEPLY MOVING. IT MAY SOUND LIKE A FILM THAT WOULD ONLY BE OF INTEREST TO FELLOW FILM CRITICS, BUT THE OPPOSITE IS TRUE. Director James has unerring instincts as to what parts of Ebert’s story are worth spending time on.” – Kenneth Turan, LA Times

“A clear-eyed portrait of a complicated, Falstaffian figure. A big-hearted, absorbing documentary. Anyone who cared about Roger Ebert will find it necessary viewing.” – Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

“***** EXTRAORDINARY. ‘LIFE ITSELF’ IS A JOY.” – Joe Neumaier, NY Daily News

“’ LIFE ITSELF’ MEASURES UP TO EBERT’S DEFINITION OF CINEMA’S BEST POSSIBILITY.” – Stuart Klawans, The Nation

“’LIFE ITSELF’ IS QUITE A STORY. Touching and inspiring.” – Stephen Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer

“I THINK ROGER WOULD HAVE LIKED THIS ONE QUITE A BIT.” – Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News

“IT’S A TERRIFIC FILM. IT’S ALSO TERRIFICALLY ENJOYABLE.” – Anders Wright, San Diego Union-Tribune

“IF THERE’S A FILM THAT BREAKS THE BARRIERS FOR ALL MOVIE-LOVERS EVERYWHERE, ‘LIFE ITSELF’ IS IT. It’s one of the finest films of the year and one that should be considered as the first documentary ever to be nominated for Best Picture.” – Clayton Davis, Awards Circuit

“A GREAT DOCUMENTARY. It's the achievement of Steve James' wonderful, heartbreaking film to give us the whole man in all his personas, some graceful, some not-so-nice.” – Ty Burr, Boston Globe

“DEEPLY ENTRALLING. Documentary master Steve James has put the pieces of Ebert’s life together with extraordinary fascination and vision.” – Owen Gleiberman, EW

“ENCHANTING AND INSPIRING. Grade A.” – Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly

“4 STARS. Unusually moving. It gains its universal impact in smaller, earthier revelations.” – Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out NY

“RIVETING. Two thumbs up were only a small part of the total man. HIS HEROISM IS THE STUFF MOVIES ARE MADE OF.” – Mara Renstein, USA Today

“**** A joy for people who love movies or who love anything with an unwavering passion.” – Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic

“Anyone who shares Ebert's love of movies will be exceptionally moved, but ANYONE WHO APPRECIATES A WELL-LIVED LIFE SHOULD BE TOUCHED AS WELL. Grade A.” – Marc Mohan, The Oregonian

“A DEEPLY STIRRING, GOOD HUMORED TRIBUTE.” – Aaron Hillis, Village Voice

“IT’S INCREDIBLY TOUCHING AND A MUST-SEE FOR ANYONE WHO LOVES MOVIES. It’s not just a celebration of Ebert, it’s a valentine to why movies matter.” – Kristen Meinzer, WNYC/NPR

“DON’T MISS IT. I’m still a little emotional thinking about it.” – Whitney Matheson, USA Today

“A GRAND TESTAMENT TO A LIFE LIVED LOVING MOVIES.” – Roger Moore, McClatchy Newspapers

“A SURPRISINGLY FUNNY FILM THAT WILL LEAVE YOU MOVED.” – Marshall Fine, Star

“A REMARKABLY INTIMATE PORTRAIT OF A LIFE WELL LIVED.” – Bruce Ingram, Chicago Sun-Times

"The modern human must define himself against how Ebert lived his final years, when he lost his (big) mouth and discovered an even stronger, truer voice." - David Edelstein, New York Magazine

"A celebratory but unstinting portrait. A paradoxical and vitally overflowing character emerges: a compassionate moralist with vast appetites, a raucous public performer whose confessional candor had a nearly religious purity." - Richard Brody, The New Yorker

“ROGER EBERT’S LIFE HAD AS MUCH INCIDENT, DRAMA AND JOY AS ANY TEN MOVIES HE EVER REVIEWED, and this completely absorbing doc tells his deeply human story with rare truth and beauty.” – David Koh, Film Journal International

“In its own movie love and view of one man’s vast, dynamic life, IT BECOMES ABOUT US ALL. It’s a downright cosmic look at existence, even as it stays strictly personal.” – Matt Prigge, Metro NY

“PROFOUND. An inspiring portrait of one man's indefatigable will to not only live but to enjoy life and bring joy to others.” – Sean Manning, Esquire

“THIS IS ONE OF THE YEAR'S MUST-SEE DOCS. It really is an amazing film.” – Ed Douglas, Coming Soon

“This personal story presents us with ONE OF THE BEST, MOST HONEST ON-SCREEN ROMANCES RECENTLY DEPICTED ON FILM.” – Randy Meyers, San Jose Mercury

“It isn’t surprising how enjoyable Life Itself is – but it’s also sharp and smart and honest.” – James Rocchi, Film.com

“Richly satisfying. Engrossing, unflinching, moving and comprehensive. An astute and sensitive account of a fully realized man and a life overflowing with abundance and achievement. James has done a wonderful job of telling a colorful life story.” – Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter

“Intensely emotional. A life spent at the movies gets the cinematic epitaph it richly deserves. James cuts — as in all of his best work — straight to the human heart of the matter, celebrating both the writer and the man, the one inseparable from the other” – Scott Foundas, Variety

“Profoundly moving. James tells this unapologetic story with little sympathy, as per Ebert’s wishes, and a lot of passion—he wants the audience to really know who Roger Ebert was, and understand the importance of his work. Roger Ebert was a movie lover, and this is the kind of movie he would have loved.” – Chase Whale, Playlist

“A moving film that is poetic, funny, and vivid – a film Ebert would have adored.” – Neha Aziz, Austin Chronicle

“A whole portrait, the good and the bad, of a man who loved movies and life in equal measure. Roger would have loved this movie.” – Sean Means, Salt Lake Tribune

“A Moving tribute, a celebration of celebrating movies and, at its heart, a salute to any life lived fully. It's never depressing for a second.” – Daniel Fienberg, Hitfix

 
Date for DVD release subject to change.