The legacy of Nora Ephron is impressionable. Her extensive reporting and work in her early career covering the Women’s Rights movement in the 60s credits her as an avowed feminist. She wrote the screenplays for films that have become defining for their genre, like When Harry Met Sally..., You’ve Got Mail, and Sleepless in Seattle. She is the reason that the Empire State Building is so goddamn romantic. Ephron had an incredible ability to work with vulnerability and conquer it with a sense of humor.
Her memory has been lovingly captured by her son, Jacob Bernstein, in the HBO documentary EVERYTHING IS COPY Nora Ephron: Scripted & Unscripted. Bernstein inserted himself throughout the film, creating a narrative voice that sought to be personable, but at times seemed overly self-indulgent. It was as if making the film, focusing heavily on the dysfunction in Ephron's personal life, was a way to resolve Bernstein’s own hangups and disjointed understanding of his mother. Despite this, the essence of Ephron was eloquently captured.
Throughout the movie, there are powerful readings by the various celebrities she worked with like baby angel Meg Ryan, Lena Dunham, and America’s sweetheart Reese Witherspoon. Tom Hanks even gives an interview. However, the most captivating moments were when Ephron read her own work or appeared on screen. The mesmerizing candids of Ephron revealed moments in which the viewer could understand her magnetism and allure. Her charm and wit saturate the film. Not only is there emphasis on her successes, but her flops and failures are also charted, creating a relatable perception of who she was. Ephron is humbled and humanized, and we are able to look to her as a role model and a friend. The documentary provides a detailed and well-researched insight into the life of an incredible woman. It debuts on HBO on Monday, March 21st 9:00-10:30PM ET/PT.
Image from Dan Greenburg/Courtesy of HBO
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