Roger Ebert Still Not Well Enough to Attend Oscars Next Month

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By: E&P Staff

Chicago Sun-Times/Universal Press Syndicate film critic Roger Ebert will watch the Oscars as a “regular spectator” for the first time in almost 40 years, Sun-Times columnist Robert Feder reported today.

Ebert, who’ll view the Feb. 25 Academy Awards on TV rather than in person, is still recovering from a series of cancer surgeries last year. He’s also preparing for a new round of “smaller operations,” according to Feder.

The Pulitzer Prize winner still plans to conduct his annual “Outguess Ebert” contest in the Sun-Times, and share his Oscar predictions with viewers of ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7.

Ebert is undergoing therapy and consulting with doctors to restore his right jaw and his ability to speak and eat. Those functions have been impaired since his operations last year for salivary cancer.

“I had hoped to be back in my seat in the balcony alongside my partner, Richard Roeper, but the surgeons tell me they will have to take a staged, multiphased approach to getting me back in shape,” Ebert said in a statement. “To borrow from the Chicago Bears, we tried for the long pass, but now we’re going for a series of shorter passes until we score a touchdown.”

Feder wrote that Ebert also has been focusing on his “Overlooked Film Festival” in Champaign-Urbana, Ill., this April (the event is already sold out) and on writing a sequel to his book “I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie” that’s tentatively titled “Your Movie Sucks.”

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