Nora Ephron, the director behind rom-com classics You’ve Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle (both of which she also wrote), passed away yesterday in her home city of New York from pneumonia brought about by acute myeloid leukemia. She was 71.
The director/screenwriter/producer, also a reporter, novelist, essayist and playwright—she makes most other moviemakers look like absolute slackers—had her last film credits with 2009’s Julie & Julia, starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams, which Ephron directed, wrote and produced. In a time when behind-the-scenes roles in the film industry are still heavily dominated by men—and when the comedic chops of females are still for some reason called into question—Ephron is a shining and much-needed example for women in the film industry.
Of course, it doesn’t matter what gender you are, Ephron was a figure to be looked up to for her skill as a moviemaker. Romantic comedy doesn’t have as many classics as some other genres, but Ephron was one of the few writer/directors of the genre who really knew her stuff. Her impact upon the film industry could be—and has been—discussed at length, and rightfully so, but we at MovieMaker would rather let one of her best scenes (from When Harry Met Sally…, which she wrote) speak for itself: