Nora Ephron, 1941-2012

Hollywood, all of us really, lost a treasure this week as Nora Ephron passed away at the age of 71. She was best known as an essayist, journalist, novelist and screenwriter. She wrote such screenplays as Silkwood (1983), When Harry Met Sally (1989), My Blue Heaven (1990), Sleepless in Seattle (1993), You’ve Got Mail (1998), and Julie and Julia (2009).

Her writing touched her audiences. Her scripts attracted great talents like Meryl Streep, Meg Ryan, Joan Cusack, Billy Crystal, Steve Martin, Rob Reiner and Tom Hanks. These are all people who use their gifts to make us laugh and cry at virtually the same moment. Her words gave them wings to do it.

What I like best about Nora Ephron, and what I will miss the most, is that she gave a voice to the thoughts and fears and dreams that reside in all real-life relationships. Her characters argue and debate about all of the challenges that we face. They have best friend conversations like we all have, as well as in-depth dating conversations that most of us avoid.

She gave us permission to have far-fetched, fairy-tale dreams about white knights. She showed us what that kind of thing looks like in the real world. She encouraged us all to talk. She showed us how to communicate with the ones we love—or might one day love. She reflected the real world in her movies and sprinkled them with laughter, so that we knew that it’s all right to laugh at ourselves. Though she’s moved on, her films will continue her work. Thank you for that, Nora.

That’s a wrap for this Toast to Cinema. Thanks for reading!

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