Overall, the Golden Globes was a smashing success last night. One of the most notable and controversial events of the evening was Jodie Foster’s Cecile B. DeMille award acceptance speech.
The legendary actress gave a riveting, albeit cynical, speech about the hardships of growing up in the spotlight. She emphasized the importance of celebrity privacy, while dancing around the hotly contested issue of her sexuality – is she she gay or not? She fiercely stood up for fellow child actors, including Claire Danes and Kristen Stewart, who are constantly scrutinized by the media. Foster also sincerely thanked the under appreciated behind the scenes half of the entertainment industry, such as her agent, who have stood by her over the last 47 years. She also thanked her close family and friends, including Mel Gibson, longtime companion Cydney Bernard, her two sons Charles and Kit, and her ailing mother, which brought the audience to tears. The actress even hinted that this speech might ber her last time on any stage, implying potential retirement. In spite of her incredible 47 year career as one of the most respected women in Hollywood, the actress ended by telling the world just how lonely she is.
I have to admit I was thoroughly befuddled when the speech ended. I was pretty sure Foster had just dropped two huge bombshells – coming out as a lesbian AND retiring from acting, but she never explicitly said either of those things. I was left scratching my head and trying to make sense of the seemingly powerful, yet rather confusing speech. Based on extensive research this morning, Jodi Foster did indeed come out, but this was years ago. The actress said “I hope you guys weren’t hoping this would be a big coming out speech tonight, because 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, co-workers, and then gradually, proudly to everyone who knew her, to everyone she actually met.” Despite speculation, Foster isn’t retiring from acting. She told the Associated Press, “I could never stop acting. You’d have to drag me behind a team of horses. I’d like to be directing tomorrow. I’m more into it than I have ever been.”
Foster’s speech was deemed “stirring” by The Hollywood Reporter, “an extraordinary moment” by the LA Times, and an “amazing and laudatory act by onee of the highest profile female public figures to come out to date” by Ellen DeGeneres. Not all feedback was quite so supportive, The Salon called the speech “awkward at times” and “angry, brave, and strange”, while the AP said it was “long, breathless, and rambling.” Many different media outlets are praising Foster for her bravery and candor or criticizing it’s raw, rambling naure, however I found the most accurate analysis from our friends at Vulture, who called it “The Most Conflicted Speech Ever.”
Regardless of how you interpreted her speech, Foster certainly deserved this lifetime achievment award. While her speech pushes ten minutes, it’s definitely worth tuning in to and will likely be talked about for many weeks to come.