Family Relationships

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Stress and the Oscars

Can you imagine the stresses facing the nominees on the night of the Oscars? Having to smile and look happy as someone else's name is called out - or having to compose yourself and give a "good" acceptance speech if it is yours? And all in very high heels and a dress that is too tight!

For those women chosen as nominees in the supporting actress category this year, coping with the Oscar jitters was a little easier since their film characters had been women under extreme stress themselves.

Academy Award winner Penelope Cruz portrays the emotionally and physically volatile Maria Elena in Vicky Cristina Barcelona. An artist in her own right, Maria Elena is not able to manage the stresses in her life alone or her tempestuous relationship with her ex-husband. Although she is able to temporarily deal with her demons through her relationship with Cristina, when that ends she again reverts to her prior explosive behavior.

Amy Adams' and Viola Davis' characters are dealing with the heavy stresses created as a result of the relentless campaign by Meryl Streep as Sister Aloysius in Doubt. Amy Adams' doubts and concerns that by accusing the priest wrongly she is abandoning her religious responsibilities hit her hard spiritually. Viola Davis is filled with pain and desperation as she tries to protect her homosexual son from societal intolerance and physical abuse by her husband. The strain she projects is palpable.

Playing the adoptive mother of Brad Pitt, Taraji P. Henson drew on some of her own motherly instincts, developed as she cares for her own son, Marcel. She has felt the stress of balancing mothering and her career and she brings this insight into her role in The Curious Care of Benjamin Button. Even with the heavy pressures of raising an aged infant, she exudes love and tries to protect him as he grows younger every day.

As a single mother making her living as a stripper and pole dancer in The Wrestler, Marissa Tomei has attempted to steer away from any romantic relationships. Once she begins to open up to the possibility of having one with Mickey Rourke and is turned down, the strains of her vulnerability and loneliness are exposed.

As a Sandwiched Boomer, you may not live in any of the dramatic situations above but when you are looking for balance and some self-nurturing while caring for growing children and aging parents, your stresses are just as great. For some tips on how to reduce the tesions in your life, click on the title above to take you to our website and our article, 7 Stops on the Less Stress Express.

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