Having just seen Adaptation, we were pleased that Chris Cooper and Meryl Streep got supporting actor/actress awards for their roles in this great movie. Not being familiar with Cooper, I was astounded to see a old (meaning, about my age) white-haired guy go up on stage to get his award--never would have recognized him as the largely-toothless good old southern boy orchid hunter he played in Adaptation. One of the best lines in this movie, or at least one of the few lines we remember: "It's what you love that matters, not what loves you." So, pursue your passion, and don't worry about all the rest. Like, how the world responds, or what people think of you.
One of the things we love is the HBO series, Curb Your Enthusiasm. It won the best comedy or musical series on TV, as it certainly should have. Larry David, the star of Curb Your Enthusiasm, had the best thank-you speech, by far. Seemingly spontaneous (but probably planned, to some extent) and short. Paraphrased... "This is a sad night for the Golden Globe awards. [pause for effect] But a great night for Larry David. There's going to be some good loving from my wife when we get home. It's pathetic that I have to win an award to get some sex." And..."I want to thank my parents, who taught me that when you have the chance to offend someone [pause]...you should take it. They just never knew that I eventually would be able to offend people on such a grand scale."
Richard Gere, on the other hand, did one of those "I'm shocked; I never expected to win tonight" riffs. Then he pulls out a big sheet of paper and says, "But my wife gave me a list of the people I should thank." Hey, Richard, I'd be much more inclined to believe your utter surprise at winning if you didn't have such a detailed list ready to be pulled out of your pocket. And he went on, and on, and on. "I want to especially thank...special thanks to...and now I want to thank my special..."
By the umpteenth special thanks, it was the non-special thank-yous that were standing out. I couldn't help but think that Gere is a Buddhist, whereas I suspect Larry David is probably just about the type of guy he plays on Curb Your Enthusiasm: sort of endearing, but a real pain in the ass. Yet David gives a short, funny, self-deprecating, and humble acceptance speech, while Gere rambled on way past his allotted time, filling the airwaves with his not very interesting observations about whatever it was he won for (oh, Chicago, that was it).
The poor award winners who came after Gere and the almost equally verbose Rennee Zellweger (also in Chicago) kept getting the "shut up now" music played for them, undoubtedly because the producers had to make up for the lengthy Gere/Zellweger speeches. So I guess the moral might be, humility is as humility does, not as humility says. Give me a natural Larry David over a pretentious Richard Gere any day.