‘The love letter to Sacramento’: What actress Greta Gerwig said at Tower Theater
It was rainy and cold Monday. The kids went back to school after a long break. The Kings still stunk.
But you – yes you, loyal reader – should be feeling pretty good about things. You’ve been thanked at the Golden Globes.
You’ve probably heard there was this movie called “Lady Bird” that came out last year directed by this very talented woman named Greta Gerwig from Sacramento. And the movie, as you probably know, takes place in Sacramento. Gerwig called it a love letter to her hometown.
Well, “Lady Bird” had a really big night Sunday. The actress who plays Lady Bird herself, Saoirse Ronan, was honored as the Best Actress: Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. Ronan isn’t from Sacramento – she’s Irish and was born in the Bronx – but she plays one of us in a movie. Can you think of any other fictional Sacramentans winning a Golden Globe?
Then one of us actually did win a Golden Globe.
“Lady Bird” took home the award for Best Motion Picture: Musical or Comedy. Most of the time, the winning film’s producer gives the acceptance speech. But after “Lady Bird” producer Eli Bush was presented with the Golden Globe, he quickly gave up the spotlight to Gerwig.
After thanking her producers and cast, Gerwig turned her attention to you.
“I want to say thank you to my mom and dad and the people of Sacramento who gave me roots and wings and helped me to get where I am today,” she said.
Somewhere, longtime Sacramento resident Verna Sulpizio Hull was crying.
“Happy tears of course!” she said Monday.
If you saw “Lady Bird” in the theater, you surely had an out-of-body moment or two during the film. Is that the Tower Bridge on the big screen? The Crest? Hey, I used to buy beer in that corner store in midtown where Lady Bird is buying cigarettes, lotto tickets and a Playgirl!
And then there was Gerwig, up on stage in front of millions of people during a memorable Golden Globes ceremony, giving the city another big moment.
“It was awesome to see Sacramento on a big screen, my hometown being seen through the eyes of someone that loves it as much as I do,” Carol Mott, a Sacramento native, wrote in a Facebook message. “I imagine hearing Greta mention Sacramento in her speech was akin to being the spouse that gets a shout out from the stage for being supportive (giggle).”
“So proud of a home town girl getting recognition,” added Marina Texeira, owner of downtown’s Torch Club. “Lovely to see our town on display.”
The “Lady Bird” win came on a night when women dominated the conversation. Oprah gave a speech that has many wondering whether she’ll run for president. Barbra Streisand and Natalie Portman provided harsh criticism for the lack of women nominees for best director. Actresses and actors wore “Time’s Up” pins, part of a newly formed movement to combat sexual misconduct around the country.
“In a time when women are having a moment, Greta made the ultimate women’s story right here in Sacramento ABOUT Sacramento,” 17-year Sacramento resident Rachel Minnick wrote on Facebook. “It’s the greatest thing that has happened in a long time.”
Minnick thinks the city should throw Gerwig a parade down K Street. Mayor Darrell Steinberg wrote on Twitter that Gerwig’s film “captures Sacramento’s heart and soul, beautifully illustrating how deeply we all love this great city,” but hasn’t yet called for a parade.
Maybe after the Oscars? Those nominations come out in two weeks.
The view from outside was a mix of humor and admiration. BuzzFeed, the online news and entertainment source, reported on Twitter it was “surely a first at #TheGoldenGlobes” for the people of Sacramento to be thanked from the stage. And it probably was.
Dave Itzkoff, a culture reporter for The New York Times, reacted to Gerwig’s speech by writing during a Golden Globes online chat that he “could’ve done with at least another 30 seconds of Greta Gerwig. A shame her speech had to be so curtailed.”
“The people of Sacramento are with you, Dave,” replied Melena Ryzik, one of Itzkoff’s colleagues at The Times. “I am too.”