On the 24th of February, the world’s biggest movie stars convened at the Dolby Theatre for movie’s biggest night; namely the 85th Academy Awards. While the Oscars has always attracted a lot of attention, what set the tongues of many viewers and critics wagging this year was surprisingly not who the winners were or what the Hollywood superstars were wearing.
Rather it was a seemingly innocuous comment by Ben Affleck which attracted the glare of the media spotlight.
In a night filled with cliché victory speeches where Oscar winners thanked their spouses in a corny and predictable manner, 40-year-old Ben Affleck thanked his 40-year-old wife, Jennifer Garner, in a rather unusual way. After winning the Oscar for ‘Best Picture’ for his film ‘Argo’, Ben Affleck said “I want to thank you for working on our marriage for 10 Christmases. It’s good, it is work, but it’s the best kind of work, and there’s no one I’d rather work with.”
Is Ben Affleck’s marriage in trouble?
This remark was enough to ignite a fierce debate as people weighed in on whether the comment signalled that Ben’s almost 8-year marriage was on the rocks.
The main reason why many people settled on the conclusion that Ben’s marriage was in trouble was because winners usually profess their undying love for their spouse and tell the world that their marriage couldn’t be any happier.
Revealing the blunt truth about marriage in an excruciatingly formal event like the Academy Awards is considered out of line by many. Furthermore, rumours of an affair with 25-year old actress Blake Lively fuelled speculation that Ben’s marriage was in trouble and his remark that marriage takes a lot of work was a subtle acknowledgement that Ben and Jennifer were desperately trying to save their relationship.
Ben Affleck: A lot smarter than he looks
However, we here at theAsianparent would like to congratulate Ben Affleck on his Oscar win as well as applaud him for his enlightening speech. The man may not be a rocket scientist but his Oscar speech definitely contained many pearls of wisdom we can all learn a lesson or two from. Here are 5 essential life lessons we can learn from Ben Affleck.
Watch his acceptance speech on Youtube here (Fast forward to 2:29 for Ben’s part):
5 life lessons you can learn from Ben Affleck
1. Marriage requires a lot of work
The biggest lesson one can take from Ben’s victory speech is that marriage requires a lot of work. Anyone who has had a romantic relationship would learn by now that the old Disney notion that romance is all fun and games is false. Maintaining a relationship is hard, maintaining a marriage is even harder. Love alone would not suffice in keeping a marriage healthy.
A lot of sacrifice, compromise as well as hard work is needed to keep the marriage going. Ben Affleck deserves a pat on the back for bravely admitting that maintaining a marriage is hard work. Furthermore, Ben and Jennifer’s 8-year long marriage deserves to be commended as well since staying married for that long is certainly not an easy task in Hollywood.
2. No pain, no gain
There are no shortcuts to success and Ben Affleck certainly knew that when he said in his speech, ‘You have to work harder than you think you possibly can.’ After winning an Academy Award in 1997 for ‘Best original screenplay’ for Good Will Hunting, it took Ben 16-long years to win a second Academy Award.
His hard work has certainly paid off and serves as an inspiration to all of us to keep working harder to achieve our own goals.
3. Don’t bear grudges
Another pearl of wisdom one can take away from Ben’s speech is to not hold grudges against someone. In his victory speech, Ben said ‘You can’t hold grudges, its hard but you can’t hold grudges’.
While the motivation which inspired this particular remark remains unclear, Ben Affleck had a very good point. It is tiring to hold a grudge against someone and the grudge itself often accomplishes nothing but becomes a source of grief.
4. Everyone can make a comeback
The fact that Ben Affleck managed to win one of the most coveted awards in Hollywood teaches us that anyone can make a comeback in life. Ben stated in his speech that ‘It doesn’t matter how you get knocked down in life, that is gonna happen. All that matters is that you gotta get back up’.
Ben Affleck certainly has had his fair share of disappointments. His high profile relationship to Hollywood superstar Jennifer Lopez failed and he has suffered a string of underwhelming movies such as the critically panned 2002 film ‘Gigli’ and 2003’s ‘Daredevil’. Ben Affleck even won a Golden Raspberry Award in 2004 which hands out awards to the worst in the film industry.
However things are looking up for Ben Affleck now. He just won another Oscar Award and his marriage to Jennifer Garner which yielded 3 children seems to be still going strong. So the lesson to take from this is that if Ben Affleck can make a comeback, so can you.
5. Show sportsmanship
Ben Affleck showed his gracious side when he thanked his fellow nominees and acknowledged their work. This example of good sportsmanship is something we can all work towards having.