Thank you, Gabourey Sidibe

Published 6:37 pm Thursday, March 11, 2010

On Feb. 2, Gabourey Sidibe was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in “Precious,” putting her in the rare company of Sandra Bullock, Helen Mirren, Carey Mulligan, and the incomparable Meryl Streep.

For those who aren’t familiar with Sidibe’s story, it is one worthy of a movie itself. Sidibe is a Brooklyn, N.Y., native who bounced around from college to college, the child of a gospel singer and a cab driver, who landed her role from an open audition. And in her very first movie, Sidibe, a relatively unknown, got an Oscar nod. That is — to state it simply — precious.

Stories like Sidibe’s, and that of Micky Rourke’s last year (The Wrestler), are the tales that inspire me to want to be a part of the movie business. Producing a full-length motion picture of my own creation is a dream of mine and many other artists out there. And when I watch the Oscars, it feels more than possible, even almost certain.

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After all — and this is not to take away from the genius of the man — but if Sylvester Stallone can pound out the script to Rocky over a weekend and win best picture in 1976, there’s no telling what a little focus could do for me.

All I need to do first and foremost is start working on some hook-lines, those lines from movies that everyone quotes in social situations (sometimes to an annoying degree). But all the good ones — like “Nobody puts Baby in a corner” or “I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse” — have been used already. I’ll work on that later.

Also, I suppose there should be a plot of some sort. Perhaps a movie about guys who start partying in a hot tub that turns out to be a time machine. Oh wait, I think someone has done that already. (Sounds ridiculous, but I can’t wait to see it for some reason.)

I also have to consider a genre. I think I would like to make a comedy. I’ve always felt it’s easy to make someone sad or teary-eyed, but it is a true accomplishment to make someone laugh. The down side, though, is that comedy never seems to fare very well in the Oscar race.

It looks like the reality of such a task is more complicated than I hoped. I mean, I’ve only considered a small part of what goes in to making a movie — hook-lines, plot, and genre — and I’m already exhausted.

So in my little side journey to make movies, I gain more respect every year for those who work in film. To produce the work that helps define our popular culture must be a treasure, a thrill and a dream all in one.

Thank you, Gabourey Sidibe, for being my favorite Oscar story this year. May your career be long and entertaining. Who knows? With a little focus and a lot of hard work on my part, you may just see a script on your doorstep with my name on it one day.