Jacob Bernstein has made a quite intimate documentary of his mother three time Academy Award nominated screenwriter Nora Ephron that is currently showing on HBO.
In Everything is Copy, Bernstein gives the viewer a richer understanding of his mother, the first born child of Hollywood screenwriters. In turn that insight into the filmmaker gives a deeper understanding of her films.
The viewer learns how her art reflected her loves, her values, her anger. Her colleagues speak eloquently of Ephron and her standard of excellence. Tom Hanks marvels while retelling the anecdote of how Ephron saw the child actor originally cast in Sleepless in Seattle froze on camera and promptly fired him. The collaborators in When Harry Met Sally detail exactly how the famous deli scene was created in a creative partnership. The insights offered here are gems.
For me, I gained a new admiration of Ephron’s final film, Julie and Julia. I originally saw it as a rather standard romantic comedy with a strong performance from Meryl Streep. I now know that the film is so much more. I immediately rewatched it and was struck at the moving qualities I previously overlooked.
In the documentary, Bernstein carefully constructs an understanding of how the scene in front of the mirror as Julia Child (Streep) and Dorothy McWilliams (Jane Lynch in a lovely supporting performance as Child’s much loved sister) prepare for dinner is really a testament to the relationship of Ephron to her own sister Delia. Watching the scene, I was caught up in my emotions for those who have been present and supported me for my entire life.
In the poll above, I marked Julie and Julia as my favorite Nora Ephron film. Please select yours and share why.
When Harry Met Sally to me is just the perfect rom com. Crystal and Ryan and also Carrie Fisher are so great in this movie and excellent direction for Rob Reiner
This was SUCH a great documentary. Serious hats-off to Bernstein.
As for the poll, I went with “When Harry Met Sally,” though I do very much like “Silkwood” and even “You’ve Got Mail” too. “Sleepless in Seattle” has its moments but is definitely a tad overrated. “Michael” and “Julie and Julia” are OK. The others, unfortunately, aren’t so hot.