Woke up to be e-scolded by a publicist who I’ve known for years, and respect, about the use of the word “geezer,” in a column referencing Christopher Plummer.
After recovering from my bitter hurt — sip of coffee — raging anger — throw the coffee cup — milder reflection — lapping coffee off floor — I reflected on the fact that while I will continue to write in large, full sentences, and without emoticons, I will also return to a style that I’ve always embraced: the vernacular.
If I can call myself a chick, or even, tongue in cheek, an Oscar’s Angel, then I suppose I could use the term geezer in reference to Plummer, who at 81 has certainly heard worse. It’s a slang word, for sure, defined by dictionary.com as an odd or eccentric man: the old geezer who sells shoelaces on the corner. OK, he must be really old to be selling shoelaces on the corner in this Velcro era, and calling him and old geezer is redundant, oxymoronic.
In the same Oscar’s Angels roundtable on best supporting actor contenders that irked the publicist — reading glasses on — we gave Plummer more positive ink, with USA Today‘s Susan Wloszczyna saying:
Next to Clint Eastwood, Capt. Von Trapp is just about the sexiest octogenarian still making movies. He was great in The Insider and fine in The Last Station, but there is a reason he has gone Oscar-less this long: His career in movies pales next to his stage work. True, they gave Helen Hayes a gold guy late in life. But it isn’t the same as Glenn Close never winning. But he does have an ace in the hole beyond his terrific role in Beginners: What can be a killer role as the family elder haunted by his long missing daughter in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Is he a shoo-in to win, though? Not necessarily.
Plummer is not the oldest man in the field, either. Odds are he will contend with the 82-year-old Swede, Max von Sydow, who has a pivotal role in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.
The real damage control that Focus Features faces is that Plummer is up against a slew of male supporting talent in the Focus stable, including the Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy crew led by Tom Hardy and including a brilliant Mark Strong, John Hurt, and a foxy Colin Firth. Ultimately, who will they back in this heated supporting actor contest? Possibly a knottier issue than an adjective as tame as geezer.
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