Jodie Foster gleams at the Golden Globes
Receiving the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award during the Golden Globes telecast is usually a time for some benignly pleasant remarks. (Source: KTLA - Los Angeles)
That was Jodie Foster, speaking her instantly famous acceptance speech at Sunday night's Golden Globe Awards. More than anything else, Miss Foster said, this remark was a reminder that the actress has been working and famous since a very young age. (Her first screen role of significance was as the 13-year-old prostitute of "Taxi Driver" but she'd been acting on TV and in commercials for a number of years before that.)
No breakdowns, no scandals of her own making. She was not responsible for the mad act of a crazed fan who tried to kill President Ronald Reagan to get her attention.
She put herself through Yale and kept her head down. And her sexuality had been an open secret for decades.
It never seemed to reflect on her successes or her less acclaimed efforts. (Except from a few gay activists who felt she "owed" them her private life.) She didn't lose her appeal as an adult. Her good looks were not an issue to be slavishly critiqued. She did not dissipate. She is intelligent, like a normal person is intelligent. She became a daring and reflective moviemaker. She has never been one to try to impress us that she's "more than a movie star." She knows herself.
And she is a devoted friend. There beside her at the Golden Globes sat Hollywood pariah, Mel Gibson. (Mel looked good. And happy. Hollywood, and the public need to get over his past inebriated excesses because he seems redeemed by Jodie. He is a great and tremendously committed actor and filmmaker.)
I've read in some places that Jodie's speech was "rambling." It was human, from the heart, open, but still determined to retain some aspects of privacy. I remember meeting Jodie and her mother at the celebrated old Chinese restaurant Pearl's, at the time she was making "Bugsy Malone." She was adorable then and her mother was an exemplary caretaker. So I've been a fan of Jodie's for years and it's great that she looks and acts even better than ever.
Her tribute at the Globes to her mother, who suffers from Alzheimer's, was exceptional. (Foster didn't say the word, but did she have to? No. That's genuine communication. The entire audience was in tears.)
Backstage, Foster had to emphasize that she was not retiring, because that's what some gleaned from her speech. I didn't. What I got was a woman who realizes that professionally she has achieved it all. There are no more mountains to climb unless she really, really wants to scale another show biz Everest. And she might. Or not. And if not, Jodie Foster at the Golden Globes was the picture of the superficial success we all think is so important, and a continuing search for the inner life we so often ignore.
P.S. Oh, and speaking of superficiality, Jodie looked glorious in her trademarked Armani simplicity. At the half-century mark, she is in her prime.
OTHER Globe thoughts: I could not be more pleased at the wins for "Argo." (Ben Affleck gave an almost frenzied speech of stunned appreciation. Even he seems gob smacked by his redemption of the past few years.) "Argo" is a great film. If I had my way, it would win the Oscar. But I have a feeling Oscar is saving itself for "Lincoln" and Mr. Spielberg.
Cheered immensely by Julianne Moore's Globe for her remarkable performance as Sarah Palin in "Game Change." This is not an "impersonation." Moore captured many facets of Palin. It was not a hatchet job, no matter what Mrs. Palin and her supporters think. In fact, I approved of every "Game Change" win.
I love Quentin Tarantino. I think he is a great "actor."
As much as I don't appreciate "Les Miserables" I can't deny all the hard work and passion that went into it, so I won't begrudge the hardworking and passionate "Les Miz" winners Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman. (Jackman gave his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness, the onstage tribute of the ages.)
I'm a little over Claire Danes' histrionics in "Homeland" and would have preferred "Downton Abbey's" brilliant Michelle Dockery in that TV category. But again, it is one heck of a workout Miss Danes puts herself through as the bipolar CIA agent -- a lazy uncommitted actress she is not.
OH, in an unrelated awards note. I just filled out my ballot for the Screen Actors Guild nominees. (The ceremony will be telecast on Jan. 27.) Did anybody but me notice that Nicole Kidman is the only actor nominated twice for a SAG statuette? One nod as best supporting actress for "The Paperboy." And a leading actress nomination for the HBO movie "Hemingway and Gellhorn." (HBO has become the MGM of television movies! And judging by the compliments lavished on the network by actors and directors, it is an extremely congenial atmosphere in which artists are allowed to truly create.)
AH, YES, Globes hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. They had their definitely amusing moments. But aside from the novelty of two great comic women hosting, no new ground was broken, either in matters of sizzling bad taste or scintillating wit. Let's face it, these hosting chores are lose-lose situations most of the time. The ladies survived with no open wounds. However, I most certainly did not miss Ricky Gervais.
ENDQUOTE: "And thank you Harvey Weinstein, for whoever you had to kill to get me up here," said Jennifer Lawrence accepting her Globe for "Silver Linings Playbook." That remark received one of the biggest and most knowing laughs of the night.
(E-mail Liz Smith at MES3838@aol.com.)