For almost fifty years, Roger Ebert shared his love of cinema with the world, writing reviews that praised and inspired. He used his work to not only give us an appreciation for the art of film but to always teach us something about life and love. And this weekend, the Chicago Sun-Times published Ebert’s final film review, which happened to be for a film by a director whose work lives inside the whispers of all-encompassing love and divinity. "There were once several directors who yearned to make no less than a masterpiece but now there are only a few. Malick has stayed true to that hope ever since his first feature in 1973," said Ebert, whose review of Terrence Malick’s latest To the Wonder speaks to its nature of reaching the human soul.
Jim Emerson’s "Remembering the Roger I Knew," written last week, noted that:
In one of Roger’s last emails, responding to my concerns that he was firing off messages that were garbled or didn’t make sense, he said he sometimes felt that way himself, but wanted to assure me that he was still in possesion of all his marbles.
"JIm, old friend, I’m in bad shape. I type on my lap in a hospital bed. I’m on pain meds. Did the review of ‘To the Wonder’ make sense to you? Such a strange movie.
But it does make sense, and it truly speaks to the essence of Malick’s work with a more clear and direct voice than most are able to articulate. One portion of the review reads:
A more conventional film would have assigned a plot to these characters and made their motivations more clear. Malick, who is surely one of the most romantic and spiritual of filmmakers, appears almost naked here before his audience, a man not able to conceal the depth of his vision.
“Well,” I asked myself, “why not?” Why must a film explain everything? Why must every motivation be spelled out? Aren’t many films fundamentally the same film, with only the specifics changed? Aren’t many of them telling the same story? Seeking perfection, we see what our dreams and hopes might look like. We realize they come as a gift through no power of our own, and if we lose them, isn’t that almost worse than never having had them in the first place?
Check out the review in its entirety HERE and see the film for yourself this Friday.