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Ebert statue planned in Champaign

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

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Updated: September 11, 2013 11:30AM

Organizers in Champaign announced plans Tuesday to try to raise $125,000 to build a life-size bronze statue of Roger Ebert. They hope to have it ready to unveil in front of Virginia Theatre in time for next year’s Ebertfest in April. The late Sun-Times film critic grew up in neighboring Urbana and attented the University of Illinois there. Ebert’s widow, Chaz, selected the composition by Bloomington artist Rick Harney. It depicts Ebert sitting in the middle of three movie theater chairs giving his signature “thumbs up.”

Standing O for ‘Osage’ in Toronto

The film adaptation of “August: Osage County,” the Tracy Letts play that originated at Steppenwolf Theatre, earned a standing ovation Monday night at the Toronto International Film Festival, but reviews in the trade press were mixed. Variety called it “splendid” and cited its “good, old-fashioned scenery chewing,” while the Hollywood Reporter called it “an entertaining adaptation” but groused it “doesn’t shed its inherent theatricality.” Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts star in the movie, opening Dec. 25.

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