RIP Nora Ephron: A Look Back at Her 6 Most-Loved Films
Screenwriter, director, and essayist Nora Ephron passed away on Tuesday at the age of 71. From ‘When Harry Met Sally’ to ‘Julie & Julia,’ we remember her most-loved films.
Sad news today, Bettys: Nora Ephron, the essayist and humorist who went on to become one of her era’s most successful directors and screenwriters, passed away on Tuesday night in Manhattan from pneumonia brought on by the acute myeloid leukemia she has been battling since 2006. She was 71 years old.
After majoring in political science at Wellesley College, Nora worked briefly as an intern in John F. Kennedy’s White House. She went on to become a mail girl at Newsweek; but when she and some of her friends put out their own satirical newspaper after New York City’s papers suspended publication due to a strike, her parodies gained the attention of the New York Post’s publisher, Dorothy Schift. Schift hired Nora as a reporter as soon as the strike was over—and the rest, as they say, was history. Her essay “A Few Words About Breasts” launched her career as a humorist as well, and perhaps from there, it was only a matter of time before she took on Hollywood. From When Harry Met Sally to Julie & Julia, Nora’s films took a smart and witty look at human relationships and all their foibles.
In honor of Nora’s extraordinary life, here’s a look back at six of her most-loved films. RIP, Nora; you’ll be sorely missed.
1. Silkwood (1983)
Inspired by the real-life story of Karen Silkwood, who died in a suspicious car accident while investigating alleged wrongdoing at the plutonium planet where she worked, Nora’s first big screen writing effort also earned her her first Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Was the accident truly an accident? Or was it something more deliberate? You be the judge.
2. When Harry Met Sally (1989)
When Harry Met Sally is best known for its infamous deli scene, but that’s not the best part of the movie. No, the best part of the movie is undoubtedly this scene. Nora hits the nail on the head here with Harry’s unusual and totally appropriate to the moment declaration of love for Sally after over a decade of dancing around the subject. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Nora won a second Oscar nomination for her screenplay. Also, who knew that Billy Crystal could be a leading man?
3. Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
What’s so terrific about the end of Sleepless in Seattle is that there’s no passionate kiss or anything. There’s just a simply holding of hands. The perfect ending for a movie about finally finding the person you’re looking for? Yes. Nora earned her third Oscar nomination as a writer for this one; she also had her first success as a director.