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Life Itself
Reel life: Ebert and Gene Siskel in the Lake Street screening room.

Of course there?s a movie about Roger Ebert. The celebrated Chicagoan and Pulitzer Prize winner was possibly the most famous film critic ever. Where would the movies be without him?

If you once made your Blockbuster picks based solely on whether the flick had received ?two thumbs up,? or if you ever spotted Ebert coming or going from the Lake Street screening room where he used to watch up to six films a week, then go see Life Itself.

The chronicle of Ebert?s life--from his childhood in Urbana to becoming a powerful media personality--is inspiring and honest, but it isn?t always easy to watch. There are scenes filmed during the last stages of Ebert?s long battle with thyroid and salivary-gland cancers, though he remained sharp and witty even when talking through a computer in his hospital bed.

Life Itself?s most heartwarming moments are about the relationship between Ebert and his wife, Chaz, a civil-rights lawyer he met at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and married when he was 50. She saved him from loneliness, he said, crediting her with his remarkable quality of life until the end.

Two thumbs up for true love.

Now playing at the Landmark Century Centre Cinema, 2828 N. Clark St.; 773-509-4949 or

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