Appearing on The Oprah Winfrey Show today, film critic Roger Ebert gave his Oscar predictions, said he felt “terrific,” and would have “no more surgery”: “I’m not going to talk or eat or drink again, so the surgery would be to patch my face back together… Nobody looks perfect. We have to find peace with the way we look and get on with life.”
As you probably know by now, Ebert has lost his voice from thyroid cancer. He communicates through sign language and computer software that acts as his voice. He types out words and a computerized voice conveys them aloud.
Ebert’s picks for the Oscars? He likes Kathryn Bigelow and The Hurt Locker for both best director and best picture. Best actor? Jeff Bridges. Sandra Bullock for best actress and Mo’Nique for best supporting actress. Christopher Waltz gets Ebert’s backing for best supporting actor. Ebert noted that he couldn’t remember an easier year to predict winners — a comment which, given the absence of Avatar on that list, may give James Cameron pause.
It was explained that Ebert consumes food through a feeding tube connected to his stomach. When Oprah asked if he missed eating, Ebert grabbed at the air as though he was selecting food items he’d love to chew on now.
Ebert’s wife, Chaz, accompanied him. Footage was shown of Ebert and his wife attending a movie screening room in preparation for reviewing films. We were also shown some tape of new technology Ebert is working with that takes his own voice from many hours of his TV appearances and organizes it into words that he types:
When Winfrey said he was cancer-free, Ebert crossed his fingers. So should we all, for him.