Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Nora Ephron

At her best, screenwriter Nora Ephron turns out biting, sharply observed scripts that foreground strong, interesting characters. She has also, more unusually for a woman in Hollywood, made a commercially successful transition to directing, helming of comedies that includes two of the key rom-coms of the 1990s.
Samantha Cook, The Rough Guide to Chick Flicks, 2006.

Previously I promised you a post on Nora Ephron the hot shot director of Julie & Julia. Ms Ephron wears many hats; director, producer, screenwriter, novelist, journalist, author and blogger. Her beauties are rom-coms such as When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail and more recently Julie & Julia. Recently Nora has been named as one of the most successful creative women in Hollywood and is touted to be in the running for an Oscar nomination for Julie & Julia. Nora Ephron was born in New York City in 1941, the eldest of four daughters and grew up in Beverly Hills where she graduated from the glittery Beverly Hills High. Films were always in Nora’s blood as both her parents were screenwriters. Her sisters, Delia and Amy also went down the screenwriting route and her sister Hallie is a journalist, book reviewer and author. Her links to the literary world continued with her husbands ie hubby no 1 was writer, Dan Greenburg, hubby no 2 was journalist, Carl Bernstein of the Watergate scandal and current hubby is screenwriter, Nicholas Pileggi.

After graduating at Wellesley College in 1962, Nora did a stint as an intern at the White House for President John F. Kennedy. She was head hunted by the New York Post where she worked as a reporter for five years. She went onto writing a column on women’s issues in Esquire and collaborated with Bernstein on the script for All the President’s Men and although the script was not used this brought Nora’s illustrious talents to the forefront. Her first play was Silkwood which starred Meryl Streep and then she went on to write Heartburn which was based on former husband, Carl Bernstein’s affair with British politician Margaret Joy.  She hit pay dirt in 1989 with When Harry Met Sally in which she earned an associate director credit. This is My Life was her first directorial debut but it was Sleepless in Seattle that really made her in Tinsel Town, the film raked it in at the box office. Since Sleepless in Seattle, she has worked on numerous projects such as Michael starring John Travolta and Andie McDowell, Bewitched starring Nicole Kidman and of course, You've Got Mail which reunited Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. The secret of Nora Ephron's success is that she makes films that speak to women rather than at them which is a rarity in Hollywood.

Nora Ephron now resides in New York City with her husband.

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