Sunday, January 13, 2013

Jodie Foster's Golden Globes De Mille award speech means whatever you want it to mean.

I miss the unpretentious child/young adult actress Jodie Foster, great in just about everything from Scorsese films to TV guest shots to the now-forgotten musical TOM SAWYER to the also-forgotten CARNY (I still have to catch up with her performance in Adrian Lyne's FOXES).  I also miss the Jodie Foster who directed the not-as-well-known-as-it-should-be-now LITTLE MAN TATE.  I really miss the Jodie Foster who could win an Oscar for an anti-rape film like THE ACCUSED--and then turned into the high-minded Jodie Foster who made overreaching twaddle like NELL (chick a pea) and THE BRAVE ONE (apparently intended as a tasteful film on the chilling subject of vigilantism).  I supremely miss the Jodie Foster who, as a filmmaker, couldn't get a film about controversial Nazi-propagandist director/actress Leni Riefenstahl made--but at least tried.

The Jodie Foster who appeared at the Golden Globes to collect a career-achievement De Mille Award had some moments of genuine humanity (talking about her mother and praising her filmbiz colleagues)--mixed with blasts of fury at--as I parsed it--aging in Hollywood, the increasing triviality of celebrity culture and barely-concealed anger at years of being unable to cease gossip about her sexuality and keep her private life entirely private.

And perhaps the low point of Ms. Foster's speech occurred when she trotted out the now-easy-target-cliche Honey Boo Boo reference and hatefully mocked noncloseted celebrities for living "reality show" lives.

But a lot of people (both at the ceremony and watching it at home) seem to have mentally compartmentalized the Jodie Foster remarks--sifting the good from the less-edifying and absorbing the presence of one of the few women in the business with Genuine Power (although Lena Dunham, who came off quite likable in her two acceptance speeches--could have a Foster-esque career, in terms of current and possible future achievements as writer/director/producer/actress).

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