'Oprah': Roger Ebert predicts the Oscars, movingly: 'No more surgery for me'

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.

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  • Caitlin

    I like Roger Ebert. He’s one of the few critics that I respect and like.
    And I love those predictions.

    • Yolanda

      I love Mr. Ebert. I would so enjoy him, analyzing those films. If he said it was good, it was good. If he said thumbs down, look out! So proud of his progress…

      • Nat

        A very smart man. I wish the best of health to him.

        If you’re a fan of his writing, check out his blog…its really well written, and he muses on different things in life.


    • Nshi

      Does anyone else think he looks like Whistler’s Mother??

  • Josh

    I agree with his predictions. I think this is the easiest year to pick the winners. The one good thing is that I’m actually happy and support the most likely winners.

  • M A Weyer

    With everyone so settled, makes me think more and more at least one of the big Six will be a surprise upset. Given the history of the category, most likely seems to be Supporting Actress as either Farmiga or Gyllenhaal could pull off a shocker.

    • Ted

      The best chance for a surprise is probably best actress. Bullock and Streep could cancel each other out, giving Sibide or Mulligan a win. Unlikely, but it could happen.

    • Anna

      Your post brought to mind a line from the moiemr I’m reading, Devotion by Dani Shapiro. In it she talks about the impact of loss and grief: My parents’ accident wasn’t an event that changed the world, but it had changed me. I had risen out of the ashes of that sadness and loss, and did the only thing worth doing. I had tried to become a better person. ‘You make it mean something. That’s all you can do.’ Like Ebert and Shapiro, I hope to make the losses I’ve experienced mean something , to pass along the love, passion for life, and compassion that were given to me as the most important things in my relationship with others and myself.

  • S

    I agree with Mr. Eberts predictions, especially The Hurt Locker. I hope everything goes well for Roger in the future. He is a great critic.

    • Muhsinn

      Posted on I cannot lie, I wtnead this series considerably more then any other. I am a TRUE LA Lakeshow fan so not only was I pleased with homecourt advantage but I wasthrilled to finally get our revenge from two years ago. LA Lakers 2010 NBA Champs!

  • Terry

    Love Ebert. I read one of his blogs where he talks of thinking about Steak and Shake. Moved to Denver last year so reading about his love for S and S made me more than a litle homesick(he used to talk about Letterman sharing his love of steakburgers). His Esquire article was very powerful. One part that was sad for me was the remark about his long slender fingers. I know from watching Ebert for years, he seemed to have some really big powerful hands, so this speaks of how rail he is. I wish him many more years of writing(both about the movies and just life in general).

  • Jimmy

    Besides Kathyrn and The Hurt Locker, those predictions seem to be what everyone else is saying. No surprises there.

    • woot

      No, everyone is saying Kathryn Bigelow, not sure what planet your from. The Hurt Locker is being predicted more than Avatar. But very Happy for Roger!

    • maiv

      None of his picks are surprises. But he did say that it has never been easier picking, so he’s agreeing with the general consensus.

  • V

    I miss watching him on Sunday nights. This made me cry. Go Roger!

    • Cang

      weby113 on June 26, 2011 So what should it eatttmr to me what you do in bed with guys!!!?Nicky That\’s Gross!No its notif you were gaaaaay I\’d shout HOORAYYYand here i\’d stayLMFAO

  • Richard S

    Everyone should be reading Ebert’s blog. It’s one of the best things available on the Internet.

    • Adelphia

      Woot, I will cetranily put this to good use!

  • Twitchy

    I’ve always been a fan of Mr Ebert, I wish him well with his battle, my wife lost her fight last year, it’s a hell of a disease and he has an amazing attitude towards it. My wife was only 34 when we lost the fight, there just was nothing left that we could do, and seeing Mr Ebert rise above the constant pain and see him at peace with his choices is refreshing.

  • Diego B

    I feel so bad . I never knew he was that bad. I followed their show and after Siskel died i lost it really for them but i respected both of them… His opinion was always one of the reason i would end up in the movies including one of my favorite Babe pig in the City

  • Clinton

    Whether it is a movie like “Blindside” or a real human figure that perseveres against all odds such as Mr. Ebert and Mike Ohr, that trigger something inside me that make me see what being human is all about.

    When I see these soul moving examples it lessons the effect of the other side of the coin where awful people get away with awful things.

    I think if we all could be ok with what we looked like and get on with living the world would be a better place.

  • shdrew

    Oh dear God, he looks horrible. This is so sad.

    • kayla

      He’s come back from an illness no one thought he would make it through to continue having a happy and productive life, and he is completely comfortable with the way he looks. It’s not sad, it’s inspirational.

    • Didi

      Funny you would say that. I think he looked awesome! He has such a genuine love of life and living and a wonderful glow in his eyes! He has not let the illness bring him down, that’s for sure. Having lost my previous husband to cancer, I truly appreciate his sense of humour and zest for living. Both he and his wife are incredible people, obviously draw strength from each other and are both very lucky to share their lives.

  • keith

    God bless him. His attitude just amazes me. What has happened to him would destroy many people. Wow.

  • Nshi

    Best of luck Mr. Ebert. May you be cancer-free from now on.

  • Zo

    I was very moved watching this, especially watching Chaz read his blog entry.

    I have watched Ebert on TV since I was a little girl who loved films from SO early on. Now at 28, I read his reviews via his weekly e-newsletter. I frequently disagree with the man, but I love that his reviews are like he is talking to a friend about a film. It’s never a pretentious thesis with personal gripes. You can just tell that this is NOT a job for him, it’s the second love of his life. I remember reading that while in the hospital VERY early on, he was requesting an in-room screening of “The Queen”.

    The picks he shared on Oprah seemed more like the people he thought “would” win, but not necessarily “should” win. I wish they had given more time for that, but maybe he has this up on his website!

    Always rooting for you, Roger!

    • kim in kentucky

      I agee — he and Siskel used to do a special called “If we picked the winners” (or something like that) where they stated who they thought SHOULD win, not would win

      • Zo

        That’s what I was remembering, too! :)

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