And The Award For Best Dramatic Performance by an Abandoned 8 year-old Girl Goes to…

Today the Oscar nominations were announced. It was pretty much a roundup of the usual suspects: Meryl Streep, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Woody Allen, etc. An impressive and deserving lot. But every year certain people get overlooked. I’ve recently seen a performance that would rival any of those that were nominated today. It was a performance so penetrating, so nuanced, so expert – that I can hardly believe it wasn’t in contention for the industry’s top honor. And it was carried out by my own flesh and blood, the fruit of my loins, the apple of my eye… my daughter Ellie, 8.  She wrote, directed and starred in this performance of a young girl’s struggle after being cruelly abandoned by her parents. For 7 days.

I know it’s tacky when parents take credit for their kids success, but in this case I believe we truly were her inspiration. You see, each year my husband and I go on a week’s vacation sans kids. And it was this event that proved the catalyst for her performance, so wounded was she by the betrayal.

It is a tale as old as time: Parents go away for a little R&R, kids are sad, parents come back, kids are happy. But to a dramatic genius (as she is being called by some industry insiders), this tired plotline was elevated and imbued with new life! Armed with nothing more than an iPod Touch and a free text messaging app, the young Miss Orr delivered a visceral, haunting portrait of a girl left behind by her parents with nothing but the love of her grandparents, her house, all her clothes & toys, more than enough food to eat, at least one shopping trip to Toys r Us, and more than one outing to McDonald’s. It’s a wonder she survived.

Here is a look (actual transcript):

i am crying i miss u. when I hear your voice it makes me eve sadder i am crying in bed and nobody knows it i am crying and i don’t want anybody to know and i am under my covers I really miss u and wish u would come back soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo badly. i am so upset i could scream out Loud in tears. and its not funny. fletcher is not showering and papa says its ok. i am not having a good time. i having a horrible terrible time and i will the whole week. i wish you never left.

And that was not even the highlight of the performance. Realizing her pleas were not having the desired effect of us hoping on the next flight home, she dug down deeper to produce an even more compelling portrait of a girl slowly unraveling:

Nobody knows i am crying but tears are dripping down my face and i feel soooooooo sad i love you ☹ ☹ ☹ My hair is wet from tears i’m so sad. WHY DID YOU LEVE. What time is it? sniff. It is 9:24 here. Bye i will cry to fall asleep Oh i wish you were here. i can’t fall asleep. Me and flootch are both crying waaaaaaaaaa. Wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwyyyyyyyyyyyy????????????? Still sad…… u said u would call us No Please Answer the phone i am waiting for u to call. Ddaad. i am so sad your having a good time and we are having a horrid time

And my favorite part, was toward the end of the performance, when – spurred on by our claims that maybe talking to us on the phone was making things worse, her desperation reaches frenzied heights and she responds with:

i am as sad as a hippo that stayed awake for 70 years. can you answer your face time. Please. i am calling you. i am in your bed and i don’t smell anything that smells like you and. i’m sooooooo sad . can’t you just come back

i miss u so much

i am balling

It is poring

Now if that isn’t an Oscar worthy performance, I don’t know what is…

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