Just trying to matter
Roberto Benigni jumped on his chair when he heard his name announced as the winner for best director (Life is Beautiful). Halle Berry didn’t care to show her ugly cry when she became the first African American to win the Oscar for Best Actress (Monster’s Ball). The following year, Adrien Brody kissed Halle Berry on the mouth when he accepted his best actor (The Pianist) award.
The most recent unforgettable Oscar moment for me is the grace and elegance Reese Witherspoon showed when she won Best Actress (Walk the Line). I have been rooting for her even though I haven’t seen the movie when the awards show aired. I love her work and I was so excited for her.
I still can’t get over her acceptance speech. She kept her composure. She started by saying that Johnny Cash and June Carter had a wonderful tradition of honoring other artists and musicians and singers. And so she thanked the people involved in the film including co-star Joaquin Phoenix.
I’ve seen the movie a few days ago and I think that Joaquin did a superb performance as well. It now made sense to me what Reese said about “just trying to matter.” Cash and Carter was brought together because of the same circumstances in their childhood. Johnny’s father left a painful impression on him that he was the bad son. And even later in his life when he became successful, his father still thought that he was nothing compared to his brother. June on the other hand, thought that her sister was the better singer that’s why she tried to be the funny one to compensate for not being “that good.” Johnny was the first one to tell her that she was really a good singer. He was the first one to believe in her. And she was grateful for that.
Reese said, “I am so blessed to have my family here tonight. My mother and my father are here. And I just want to say thank you so much for everything, for being so proud of me. It didn’t matter if I was making my bed or making a movie. They never hesitated to say how proud they were of me. And that means so very much to a child.”
I agree with Reese. In my own little way, I also try to show my children how proud I am of them. Whether they’re making their bed, dressing up by themselves, brushing their teeth by themselves, reading by themselves, winning a game of basketball, or playing the flute in front of an audience. I see the gratitude in their eyes when they have been patted on the back.
I also want to point out that it’s not good to compare your children with one another. It irritates me when people compare my three boys, especially when they hear it. There have been quite a few times when people would come up and say that one of my child is more handsome than the other. What did they think my children felt about that? Kids, or people in general, shouldn’t be compared, to their faces for that matter. Every individual is special in his/her own special way. When I was a child, I’ve heard people say that my sister was prettier, lighter(mas maputi), and bubblier (mas bibo)than I was. These comments made me recoil inside my own little shell. I was already shy and comments like these just lowered my self esteem more.
When my child comes to me and say that he’s not as good as his brother in basketball, or he’s not as good in math as his friend, I remind him about all the other things that he’s good at. “But you’re a good speller,” or “But you’re a good reader,” or “You’re good at printing and drawing.” When Ryland gets intimidated by his older brother, Reggie, who already knows that he wants to be a musician and he doesn’t know yet what he wants to be when he grows up, I assure him that he will know when he gets older. And you bet that I will support my children whatever career or calling they want to pursue.
In her speech, Reese also said that her grandmother, “taught me how to be a real woman to have strength and self respect, and to never give those things away.” I’ve watched Reese in a few interviews and she really conducts herself as a real woman. She’s very polite and discreet. I don’t know if it has to do with her Southern upbringing. But I like her a lot.
She said in an interview with Oprah that she almost backed out of her role in Walk the Line when she learned that she would have to sing and use her singing voice in the movie. She told the director that she couldn’t sing. The director told her that he really wanted her to sing in the movie. So she took voice lessons and learned to sing and she and Joaquin even made an album. Reese learned 8 songs and Joaquin, 26 songs, and he even learned to play the guitar. I think they both did a great job.
If you want to see some of Reese’s work, go check out Legally Blonde, which also earned her a Golden Globe nomination. I also like Election where she starred as the obnoxious overachiever Tracy Flick who is running for student body president. And The Man in the Moon, where she starred as the 14-year-old Dani Trant who falls in love for the first time.
I’ve recently seen Just Like Heaven, where Reese starred as the spirit of a beautiful woman. It’s a feel good movie. Another fun movie to watch is Pleasantville. Reese starred as one of two teenagers from the 90’s transported to a black and white 50’s sitcom.