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The Boston Globe

Movies

Critic’s Notebook

Jodie Foster speaks out

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

So what exactly was it that Jodie Foster did at the Golden Globes on Sunday night? Did she come out of the closet without actually saying she was coming out of the closet? Did she announce her retirement from acting? Was she making the case for celebrity privacy in the most public forum imaginable?

The answer to all of the above is: maybe, and I think the confusion was intentional, helpless, and nervy on Foster’s part. The six-minute-plus speech the actress gave upon receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award was as profoundly personal as we’ve gotten from her or likely ever will get. That it was emotional, at points borderline incoherent, is understandable. She was simultaneously addressing a room full of good friends, her ex-partner, their two sons, a nation of busybodies, and a culture that is addicted to both “celebrity” and “reality” without having a firm grip on what either of those constructs means. The speech held multitudes while barely holding itself together.

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