Wednesday, January 16, 2013

jodie, jodie, jodie

Much of the internet is still buzzing over Jodie Foster's acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Award at Sunday's Golden Globes. Some people are calling it a "coming out" speech. Others are disappointed that she wasn't more, clear, more political, in her delivery. Sheesh.

I honestly don't get all the negative press or the seeming demands that Jodie out herself publicly at every opportunity. Hasn't she already done that? Why is just living your life, without a confessional talk show interview to explain your beliefs and sexuality expected as de riguer these days? The pressure to live our lives publicly is what I think Jodie was driving at in her speech, not what we all should know about her already, and frankly not care about.

Looking good at 50
Jodie Foster has lived her life in the public eye for a long time. I didn't realize she was acting since the age of three until she mentioned it onstage.
"Trust me, 47 years in the film business is a long time ... tonight I feel like the prom queen. Thank you. Looking at all those clips, you know, the hairdos and the freaky platform shoes, it’s like a home-movie nightmare that just won’t end ..."
She has pursued a career as an actress, which assumes a certain amount of public scrutiny, but she was also handed a very unwelcome spotlight when John Hinckly tries to assasinate President Reagan and said it was for her. Has everyone forgotten that? She's been under the microscope a long time.

I didn't view Jodie's speech, which some have characterized as unfocused and rambling, as a coming out speech,
" ... I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago back in the Stone Age, in those very quaint days when a fragile young girl would open up to trusted friends and family and co-workers and then gradually, proudly to everyone who knew her, to everyone she actually met."
but rather a plea for more sanity in how we talk about our lives.
" ... every celebrity is expected to honor the details of their private life with a press conference, a fragrance and a prime-time reality show. ... No, I’m sorry, that’s just not me. ... if you had been a public figure from the time that you were a toddler, if you’d had to fight for a life that felt real and honest and normal against all odds, then maybe you too might value privacy above all else. ... I have given everything up there from the time that I was 3 years old. That’s reality-show enough, don’t you think?"
It was also a bit of a goodbye speech. Like Kevin Costner, earlier in the evening, Jodie alluded to the fact that this might be her last opportunity to be up on that stage.
"This feels like the end of one era and the beginning of something else. Scary and exciting and now what?"

She was obviously proud of her career and her family, who she brought with her. The only strange moment for me was the zoned-out Mel Gibson sitting beside her. It was clear from Robert Downey Jr.'s introduction of the actress that Jodie is a fierce friend, and no matter what has been going on in Gibson's private life (and the public reception) she is not one to look or walk away. she explained Mel, too.
"There are a few secrets to keeping your psyche intact over such a long career. The first, love people and stay beside them."
I think she's awesome. The only disappointment for me was that they didn't show any clips from some of my favorite guilty pleasure Jodie Foster movies (or did I just blink and miss them?) Bugsy Malone, Foxes, The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane, and The Hotel New Hampshire.
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