Can we talk about Mom in ‘A Christmas Story’?

Watching movies in 2020 is tough and not projecting our frustrations and concerns on screen. Probably a sequence of unnecessary marriage “Saint” All of this year’s Zoom “I Dos” suddenly felt amazing. Or maybe you put on an “elf” to pass some quarantine time, and the crowded mall scenes launch you into a cold sweat, because everyone is inside and no one is wearing a mask.

When i saw the classic “A Christmas Story” Recently for the 20th time (at least), my epidemic-weary brain had never really seen me. I saw cute kids and leg lamps and famous Tongue sticking scene, And became laser focused on the mother. One glance at her shattered hair and shabby robe and exaggerated stare and I felt: This woman is a very big hero.

“A Christmas Story,” Which TBS has played Every holiday season for over a decade, in Indiana in the early 1940s, and follows a young boy named Ralphie (Peter Billingsley), who wants a Red Rider BB gun for Christmas, even if Her mother (Melissa Dillon) is referred to as “Mother” in the credits, her dream gift being very dangerous. It’s too much of a plot, but director Bob Clarke and writer Jean Shepherd somehow produced an odd, timeless Christmas film that manages to be both comic and melodious in the dark. Every year I have seen that this film is the protagonist of Ralphie. Now I am not so sure.

When we meet Mother, she is frazzled, serving food and wears dowry clothes that resemble rags next to her husband’s comparative haute suit. While The Old Man (Darren McGuinn) papers or grumbles about the faulty furnace, Mother Cooks, Clean, wrestles the children in their giant snow suits and tells of the welfare of all, even anyone Does not say anything about him.

Usually I do not find her plight so thrilled, but on this scene, as her husband and children left for the day, I desperately wanted to know what this woman did to her alone. She was not doing well at home school and work during a global crisis, so did she just want to clean up? Maybe he introduced himself to a cladstein Tom Collins and took a bubble bath. Where were her scenes in “An Unmarried Woman” like Jill Kleberg celebrating her freedom while dancing in an empty house? Was i doing the project?

Something tells me that she was not flinging cocktails and pirates from room to room.

Instead, we see Mother eating cabbage and meat, which practically makes her a saint in my book. I have occasionally handed over my baby son’s goldfish and some grapes to last year’s dinner (toddlers are picky!), So at least the food is cooked in his uninspired house. We also see Ralphie’s mouth washed with a large strip of red cloth that she calls “Queen Mother of Dirty Words”. My son also said his first curse word this year, only he is 3 years old instead of 9 like Ralphie. Instead of stuffing soap in her mouth, I looked away to hide my laughter and avoid paying attention to any words. The mother was not fond of reading fancy books by child psychologists. All he did was a big bar of soap.

Mom might not be considered like a superstar, but Dillon received top billing in “A Christmas Story”. She came into the film with a Tony nomination for her Broadway debut in “Broadway of Wolf of Virginia Woolf ?,” as well as two Academy Awards for “Third Kind Encounters of Third Kind” and “Abence of Malice” Nominated. Dillon started Check first coat girl At The Improv Theater in Chicago, The Second City, but as her career progressed quickly, she was overwhelmed by the prospect of fame. He turned his energy away from acting and towards marriage and children. The role of a real-life suburban mom quickly lost its charm, though.

“I was buried alive,” Ms. Dillon said of living at her home in 1976 Interview with the Times. She went back to work.

Reading this, it is not hard to imagine that Ms. Dillon brought some emotions to the role of a woman, as Ralphie says early in the film, “there was not a hot meal for myself in 15 years.”

He is not just a Meat Loaf baking pushover, though. The mother has mastered the art of outsmarting her husband. She uses a theft tactic to convince her not to turn on the hidden lamps she won in a competition, such as she suggests to keep it closed so that they don’t waste electricity (it’s a steal in my eyes As a strategy of). He later, if not subtly, angrily claims his authority by destroying the angry foot lamp. I cheered him with every off-camera smash. Deprived of hot food and being at home, she needs it.

At the end of “A Christmas Story”, Ralphie and Randy opened several of their gifts, and the Old Man opened a shiny blue bowling ball, a gift from Mom. As I watched her inspect the joys of her husband and sons around the Christmas tree, I noticed that she was holding something that could be either a gold spatula or a fly swatter. I hoped that whatever his gift was, it was not one of those things. Suddenly, about watching this film, I needed to know if the woman of the film had got this woman one Christmas.

Frantic Google searches “Mom” “Christmas Story” combining “Gifts” and “Spatula” as nothing came out, so I emailed A Christmas Story House & Museum In Cleveland, the film is expected to answer, the site of the actual home.

“Who cares what Mom gets for Christmas,” museum owner Brian Jones replied. Turns out he was joking, but still. “Nobody has ever asked me that in business in almost two decades,” he wrote.

According to Jones, the mother is actually holding a fly swatter. If he receives any gifts, we never see them. Is her Christmas a gift that her husband and sons are all happy and fulfilled? Where is his reward for multitasking and keeping everyone fed-up and protected from blizzards, all while sacrificing his time and energy to make yet another cabbage stew? They could have at least given him a card!

From now on, when I watch the end of “A Christmas Story”, I will not focus on Ralphie’s BB gun or Old Man Parker’s bowling ball. I’ll root for Mummy, and imagine a deleted scene where she kisses her feet, possesses that Tom Collins and gets a quiet moment on her own.

Dina Gachman is an Austin-based writer and author of “Brokenomics”.

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