For many years, troubling rumors about sexual abuse involving Roman Catholic priests and underage parishioners had been bubbling to the surface of public awareness, but few, if any, details were substantiated. That all changed in 2001, however, when an intrepid team of reporters from The Boston Globe took on the story.
It’s a rare occasion when someone comes along who ends up being a genuine game changer in his or her particular field of endeavor. But, when such individuals make their presence felt, they leave an indelible mark on their craft, changing it forever. In the field of film criticism, that distinction belongs to Roger Ebert (1942-2013), who almost single-handedly altered the way we look at movies and whose storied life is now the subject of the engaging new documentary, “Life Itself.”
Whenever we see someone rise to greatness, we’re inspired by the impressive personal power that they wield. But managing such power can be a dual-edged sword as anyone can attest who has witnessed its unleashing in the manifestation of terrible atrocities. The challenges associated with this issue can become apparent in a variety of arenas, too, including everything from the world geopolitical stage to the everyday theater of family relations. That point gets driven home with riveting clarity in the dark new comedy-drama, “August: Osage County.”