Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Tribute to Nora Ephron

I am very sad about writer Nora Ephron’s recent (6/26/12) death at the too-early age of 71. She was extremely gifted and prolific: a successful journalist, essayist, screenwriter, director, producer, and more. Her books included “Heartburn,” “Crazy Salad,” and “Scribble, Scribble”; her movies included “Heartburn,” “Silkwood,” “When Harry Met Sally…,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” “You’ve Got Mail,” and “Julie and Julia.” She entertained us and she made us think. She was a pioneer in much of the work she did; even now, women in the film industry are rare. In her movies there were always women characters who were strong, believable, and interesting; female filmgoers could identify with these characters. This was more unusual than it should have been; as the Washington Post obituary reminds us, she once stated that to male studio moguls, “a movie about a woman’s cure for cancer is less interesting than a movie about a man with a hangnail.” And -- as that quotation indicates -- she was a feminist. In so many ways, in so much of what she did, she spoke for women. She was rarely a polemicist and mostly wrote with humor, thus getting her points across even more effectively. In fact, she was a one-woman rebuttal of the old canard that feminists have no sense of humor. She will be very much missed.

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