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Monday, January 14, 2013


Jodie Foster - The 2013 Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient.

Jodie Foster's Emotional Speech at Golden Globe... by lpage2424

One of Hollywood’s most glamorous of events, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Golden Globes, became the scene for something rather extraordinary and surprisingly, surprising. Last night, towards the end of the show, Jodie Foster received the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award. Being only 50, but having worked in the industry for 47 years, Foster made for an interesting recipient. Yet, it was Foster’s acceptance speech which arguably “stole the show.”
In what might be called something of a rambling seven minute speech (or perhaps a well scripted highlight of a career spanning 47 years and fraught with her own personal trials and tribulations), Jodie said that “I want to be seen, to be understood deeply and to be not so very lonely.” She also thanked her extended family of people with whom she had worked for decades. And for many, it sounded as if Foster was announcing her retirement.

But then, in the coup de grâce, Foster came out to the world-wide audience as a lesbian; well almost, sort of. Foster coyly said, "While I’m here being all confessional, I just have the sudden urge to say something I’ve never been able to air in public. A declaration that I’m a little nervous about. Not quite as nervous as my publicist, huh, Jennifer? But uh, you know, I’m just going to put it out there. Loud and proud. I’m going to need your support. I am ………. single!"
Laughter ensued as everyone expected Foster to say she was a lesbian. The confession became comedy and the line between Foster’s true life and her acting became one and the same. Her seeming confession, her saying that she was nervous, her nervous gulp, and the perceived emotional and rawness of the confession were but an act; Foster revealing that she may have been acting and in an instant used her craft to deliver in perfect comedic timing the line “I am …. Single.”

And then in a moment worthy of a true Hollywood twist, the NBC Broadcast sound cut out and went silent for seven seconds. Was there some conspiracy afoot? Had some revealing and poignant statement been deleted? Was it a pre-planned and highly orchestrated moment at the very instant Foster was to have made her grand announcement in order to grab the attention of every eye and ear watching and listening? The silence was deafeningly loud in its effect.
Following the seven seconds of silence, at which point everyone is now rapt with attention, the sound comes back and Foster says that “…. be a big coming-out speech tonight because I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago back in the Stone Age…” Was there any significance in the missed words? It appears not, except that the silence became itself a statement by Foster that she wanted to be heard and understood.

She continued by thanking her two sons, Charles and Christopher, and making reference to their “modern family” and the woman long rumored to be her partner.
“There's no way I could ever stand here without acknowledging one of the deepest loves of my life," said Foster. "My heroic co-parent, my ex-partner in love but righteous soul sister in life, my confessor, ski buddy, consigliere, most beloved BFF of 20 years, Cydney Bernard."

Social media quickly exploded with news of the "coming out," with comments ranging from “everyone already knew” to “what a courageous and wonderful moment.” Many audience members were moved to tears.
Some commentators took a much harsher stance, such as Gawker which posted an article “The Sheer Gall of Celebrities Demanding Privacy.”
"Last night, Jodie Foster, a famous actress who has been a famous actress for many decades, stood on stage at a glittery Hollywood awards show being broadcast around the world, and, in a lengthy, self-glorifying speech, in front of a crowd of the world's most famous people, asked for.... privacy. Is Jodie Foster clinically insane?"
But what exactly did Jodie’s speech mean? As can be seen by the millions of tweets, hundreds of articles and countless comments, the answer is largely in the eye of the beholder. For her part, Foster said the speech spoke “for itself” and represented what was “most in my heart.”

And there, regardless of all the speculation and comment by others as to what Foster meant, Foster’s speech was an intensely personal expression of gratitude; an acknowledgement that, as most everyone knew, she is a lesbian; and, a statement that she intends to continue pursuing a craft which she loves while doing so according to her owns terms, her own sense of privacy.
Much has been made of her call for some sense of privacy. Ironically, in calling out for privacy, Foster expressed some of the most personal and poignant aspects of her life.

"But seriously, 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.”
Adding a bit of sardonic humor to her call for privacy, Foster says:
"But now I’m told, apparently that every celebrity is expected to honor the details of their private life with a press conference, a fragrance and a prime-time reality show."
Did Foster then turn her disdain of the reality television culture into an insider Hollywood joke? She said: "Please don’t cry because my reality show would be so boring. I would have to make out with Marion Cotillard or I’d have to spank Daniel Craig’s bottom just to stay on the air." Was this a veiled reference to rumors within the Hollywood, inner sanctum lexicon of Craig’s own sexuality, much as the rumors had followed Foster throughout her career?

I disagree with Gawker in that regardless of whether you are a Hollywood star, an outstanding athlete, or an internationally famous singer, you do have a right to some level of personal space and privacy. And Foster was not so much asking for privacy as simply stating that it's simply not relevant whether she is gay or straight and saying that she does not have to tell anyone or address it in any way.
Then, as she moved to the end of her speech, Foster let down that veil of privacy and revealed herself, in the most poignant part of her speech.
"There are a few secrets to keeping your psyche intact over such a long career. The first, love people and stay beside them.” ... “Lifers. My family and friends here tonight and at home, and of course, Mel Gibson. You know you save me too.”
At this point, the cameras cut to Gibson's face. They have been friends since the early days and she has remained beside him despite his homophobia, anti-Semitism, fanatical Christianity (Foster herself professing to being “an atheist”), misogyny and the fact that much of “Hollywood” now hates him. By including Mel Gibson not only at her table but by calling him out in the speech, Foster demonstrated that despite vast differences in ideology and despite public turmoil, that friendship should be cherished and not simply endured.

And finally, like an Oscar winning drama, Foster addressed perhaps one of the most intense and personal aspects of her life, that of her tumultuous life with her mother.
"This brings me to the greatest influence of my life, my amazing mother, Evelyn. Mom, I know you’re inside those blue eyes somewhere and that there are so many things that you won’t understand tonight. But this is the only important one to take in: I love you, I love you, I love you. And I hope that if I say this three times, it will magically and perfectly enter into your soul, fill you with grace and the joy of knowing that you did good in this life. You’re a great mom. Please take that with you when you’re finally OK to go.”

Her plea to her mother was a beautiful, heartfelt moment of unconditional love. Shots of the audience showed many in tears. It is reported that Foster’s mother has advanced stage Alzheimer’s; yet, given the complicated relationship which Foster has had with her mother, one cannot help but wonder if there were multiple meanings to Foster’s saying “Mom, I know you’re inside those blue eyes somewhere.”
But in the end it was forgiveness; the ultimate and last gift which she could give to a mother with whom she had suffered a difficult and painful coexistence. Remember only “love, love, love.” Foster echoed this in her tribute to her sons, telling them that "This whole song is for you!”

So while we may all speculate as to the nuances of Jodie’s speech, it may perhaps be best to simply agree with Foster that her speech represented what was “most in my heart.”