Writer-Director Nora Ephron Has Passed Away

By Kelly West 2012-06-26 18:56:34discussion comments
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It is with great sadness that we share the news that film director and writer Nora Ephron has passed away. Word of the When Harry Met Sally writer's passing comes after earlier reports stated that she wasn't doing well and might not make it through the night. Unfortunately, reports are now confirming that Ephron has died.

According to the Washington Post, Ephron passed away today at a hospital in New York. The 71-year-old died of complications from a blood disorder called myelodysplasia, which she was reportedly diagnosed with six years ago.

Ephron's writing credits include the Meryl Streep starring drama Silkwood, as well as numerous comedies, including When Harry Met Sally… and My Blue Heaven, in addition to Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail, both of which she also directed. Her most recent writing and directing credit is for the 2009 film Julie & Julia.

When Harry Met Sally… is not only a classic romantic comedy, but the film continues to set a standard for what a great romantic comedy can be with the right writing. While the direction and chemistry between the characters are certainly worth noting, the dialogue between Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal is where the movie really shines. Ephron's style of writing worked just as well on her other films, including Sleepless in Seattle, a film with numerous great conversations and heartwarming moments.

When considering her career and the moments in film that stand out most to me, I felt a mixture of happy and sad. Sad, over her loss but smiling at the thought of Harry and Sally's many great lines ("I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts..."), or any of the various My Blue Heaven lines that are still just as quote-worthy now as they were two decades ago (I can't say the word "arugula" without following with, "It's a vegetable!").

Experiencing the mixed emotion of happy and sad brought me to Sleepless in Seattle, and the scene when Tom Hanks' Sam Baldwin is talking about his deceased wife. His description of his experience with grief and the love he shared with his wife still stands out as one of those truly moving moments, when I don't know if I should smile or cry. I usually settle on a little of both...
Sam Baldwin: Well, I'm gonna get out of bed every morning... breathe in and out all day long. Then, after a while I won't have to remind myself to get out of bed every morning and breathe in and out... and, then after a while, I won't have to think about how I had it great and perfect for a while.

Doctor Marcia Fieldstone: Tell me what was so special about your wife?

Sam Baldwin: Well, how long is your program? Well, it was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, they meant we were supposed to be together. And I knew it. I knew it the very first time I touched her. It was like coming home... only to no home I'd ever known. I was just taking her hand to help her out of a car and I knew. It was like... magic.

Ephron had a way with words and her contributions to the film industry through her writing, directing and producing will not soon be forgotten.

Our thoughts go out to her friends and family in their time of loss.
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