Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Thank you Jared Leto's mom

I haven't been writing for myself everyday as I set out to do when I began this blog. I have, however, been writing everyday, for other people. I now volunteer as a grant writer for two organizations that help "women like me". Or, as +Matthew McConaughey might put it, the person I was who looked forward to the person I am now, but is not who she thought she would be. I get it.

+Jared Leto was more direct when he said,

"In 1971, in Bossier City, Louisiana, there was a teenage girl who was pregnant with her second child. She was a high school dropout and a single mom, but somehow she managed to make a better life for herself and her children. She encouraged her kids to be creative and work hard and do something special. That girl was my mother and she’s here tonight. I just want to say ‘I love you mom, thank you for teaching me to dream." Read more: Oscars 2014: Watch Jared Leto's Amazing Acceptance Speech: VIDEO | TIME.com http://entertainment.time.com/2014/03/02/oscars-2014-jared-letos-amazing-acceptance-speech-for-supporting-actor/#ixzz2v0lLVikB

I have not seen the movie for which these actors won awards, something nags me when I think about watching it. I understand the basic plot. I will always love McConaughey for his role as the pragmatic and, literally, hungry lawyer in Amistad, a movie I teach every semester to teacher candidates, some of whom really believe that something happened in the 1960s that made racism go away. McConaughey's character never fails to capture those students because, as is true of most Hollywood movies, through the characters the audience learns what to accept and what not to accept.  

 Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven introduced "the hero that is not" character. A small movie that I stumbled upon about a year ago, Puncture, brought that character to fruition, in my opinion. I think that McConaughey's character in Dallas Buyers Club might just yank that character up another rung on the ladder of complex characterization. I'm just not ready for more uncertainty even though Hollywood seems to think I am. 

And then Jared Leto Spoke. I have boycotted watching the Academy Awards show since they started the 10 second delay, after +Quentin Tarrantino's awesome "F" bomb on THE Red Carpet. It was the pinnacle of real moments that have been caught on film before and during the show. 

And then Jared Leto spoke.  And, I missed it. But I heard about it. Why? Because it made a HUGE noise. It was as graceful an "F" bomb as I have ever heard. Tarrantino who? That mispoken "F" bomb has been trumped. Unwed teen parents have now been publicly recognized as capable of raising cultural icons. Leto may have made the unacceptable acceptable in Hollywood. 

We shall see what happens next. I was able to stream McConaughey's entire "speech" but Leto's was be taken down due to proprietary issues related to the Oscars (I paraphrase). My eyebrow is up. 

I cannot help but think that somebody in Hollywood is saying "what are we going to do with this unwed teen mom"?  Think about the portrayal of +Eminem's mom in 8 Mile. I don't believe Hollywood can handle characters as complex as she, or Jared Leto's mom, or any of us who raised children statistically destined to infamy, or at least bad life choices, but who became Hollywood icons and teachers and doctors and firefighters. Jared Leto has renewed my hope.