Ben Affleck will always be tied to Ebert for all eternity. Argo was the last number one movie ever named by Ebert, predicted to win the Oscar (rightly) by Ebert, and To the Wonder was the last movie reviewed by Ebert. Kind of strange, don’t you think? Either way, here is what Affleck said about Ebert at last night’s To the Wonder preem, from Variety – “last summer” would have been before the Telluride film fest – the WB already knew what they had with Argo, which one of the reasons it went to Telluride at all and now I wonder if it wasn’t Ebert who tipped them off:

“I went and visited Roger last summer,” Affleck recalled at the Pacific Design Center gala. “We talked about ‘Argo.’ I met with his wife and saw his living conditions after his surgery and I was so moved by his cheerfulness, the way that he sort of bore that burden.”

Affleck describes the visit, compounded with Ebert’s review of “To the Wonder,” the last review from the legendary critic, as “one of the most powerful things that’s ever happened to me in my career. His last review, about this movie, was viewed through the prism of this wonderful man, who at the very end of his life, had to see the movie through that lens.”

Affleck left the event prior to the screening, along with co-stars Rachel McAdams and Olga Kurylenko, though the latter joined guests at the Spectra-hosted gathering that included producers Sarah Green and Nicolas Gonda. Helmer Terrence Malick did not attend.