Two thumbs up for Roger Ebert

I was really mad at myself for allowing myself to miss today’s “Oprah” segment with Roger Ebert, the first time he’s been interviewed for television since a series of extremely difficult surgeries following his successful cancer treatment left him unable to eat, drink, or talk. It’s also where he debuted — only briefly — his new computerized voice based on recordings of his voice taken from DVD commentaries.

Fortunately, I’ve been able to piece together a lot of via the excerpts at sites like the Huffington Post and this somewhat out of synch, undoubtedly sketchy video on YouTube where, at least for the time being, you can see a good chunk of the interview with Ebert and his obviously beyond devoted wife, Chazz.  There, my friends, is a real love story.

However, in all the talk about Ebert, his wisdom and good humor in the face of a fate none of us would want, the man who thinks more clearly than almost any of us about what movies really are, might get a little bit lost. Below, as time started to run out for his days of ordinary speech, he discusses his approach to criticism, “two thumbs up” and why he and Gene Siskel trademarked the phrase, and the ultimate futility of having to assign numeric ratings to movies.


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