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Sigourney Weaver could be Emmy-bound with 'Prayers for Bobby'

January 24, 2009 | 10:52 am


Sigourney Weaver, a three-time nominee at the Oscars, could find herself in the running at the Emmys for her performance in the Lifetime telefilm "Prayers for Bobby."

The earnest biopic is just the sort of flick that does well with the Emmy Awards. And actresses of, ahem, a certain age, feature prominently in the TV movie/mini race. Recent winners include Helen Mirren (a record four times), Meryl Streep, Maggie Smith, and Judy Davis.

A decade ago Sigourney Weaver landed her first Emmy nod for her role as the evil stepmother in "Snow White: A Tale of Terror," a feature that played on Showtime. She lost the prize for best lead actress in a movie/mini to Ellen Barkin, who starred, alongside Oprah Winfrey, in the inspirational "Before Women Had Wings." Now Sigourney Weaver makes her TV movie debut in another movie with a message — "Prayers for Bobby" — as the real-life Mary Griffith who became a gay rights crusader after her religious intolerance drove her gay teenage son to suicide.

Reviews for the movie were mixed, but almost all singled out Sigourney Weaver's performance. Said Reuters, "the film is an undeniable tour de force for Sigourney Weaver, who portrays the rigidly devout and ultimately devastated mother with a raw intensity and passion." And Matthew Gilbert of the Boston Globe thought, "Weaver manages to make Mary's shift credible, without taking a dive into earnestness and schmaltz."

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I've watched this movie at least 3 times and cry every time. I cannot believe that any mother would condemn their child because of who they are. I just don't understand how they miss the unconditional love you are supposed to have for your children. I'm a mother of 4 and would love my children whether they were gay or straight or bi or whatever. How could any mother turn their backs on their children. I was glad to see that Bobby's mother finally got it in the end. I just hate that it was too late to save Bobby from his own personal hell and eventual suicide.


I managed to view the movie, even though I am in the UK. I must admit I felt angry at Mary for not listening to Bobby. As a (straight) mother myself, I can't comprehend any mother not accepting and loving their child *unconditionally*, just as they are.

I have spent my life fighting for all those who are GLBT, and most of all to make them feel loved... just as they are.

As an extension to this, I am now very involved with the Gay Christian Network, a community of over 10000 members, especially for those who are GLBT and Christian and who try to reconcile their faith and orientation. We provide around the clock support, encouragement, resources both for GLBT people and for their families, we provide a list of welcoming churches, and much more.

If you are GLBT and Christian, I invite you to join us at

You were all created perfectly, you are as God made you, and you are Loved, just as you are.


To all the gays living in freedom here on this board. I love women, I feel I was born this way. I love women of all nationalities and sizes, I love them clothed but especially when they are not. I feel trapped that I can only have one wife, that the Bible says lusting and pornography is wrong. I love those things I feel like I love all the women I sleep with. Yet I cannot be free here. What should I do. How can I be free like you? I feel like I was born to have as many women as possible and to think about them all the time and in every way imaginable. I was made to enjoy women and love them. What is your advice? Can you provide any contacts for any of the women in your lives. I have not chosen this but understood more and more what is in me as I have grown older. I tried to pray it away but it grows and grows. What shall I do?

I was afraid to watch the movie because with all the hate and ignorance out there for gay people I know this type of thing is a real reality in our children's lives. My darling son is gay. He is amazing in every way and a proud and confident young man. It scared me at first when he told me as I was afraid for how much harder his life would be. But after the initial shock I went back to the facts that God doesn't make mistakes and he made my son, as he did my other two children, exactly the way he wanted him to be.

My difficulty in this is I am a Christian that doesn't have a bible-teaching church to belong see when I hear the 'educated church leaders' condemn normal people because of the way God made them - I feel angry and can't just accept their ignorance so I have stopped going and it has been a huge loss to me. I as a Mom but mostly as a human being learned more from this movie in regards to understanding that I can be a Believer yet know that many things in the Old Testament are before Christ's coming. I wonder if this movie will come out of DVD so I can ask others who do not understand to watch it and learn.

My problem is I do believe the Bible but can't find a community of believers that aren't in judgement of others. Reading blogs online is digusting - the 'so called Christians' will too go before the Lord in judgement - I would love to be in that audience.

I just want to say...that movie could have been written about my life (besides the sucide success) I didn't know that anyone else felt the way I did...all through my young years I would dream about guys not girls...I would wake up every day for as far as I can remember...many many years since the third or fourth grade...and think..."by this time next week, next month next year...I would have forgotten all about thinking this way and laugh about it and I would be normal"
and i would pray alot every day and cry and plead that I would begin to think "normal". I heard my parents, family and siblings say fags this and fags that about anyone possible gay and would feel so ashamed and scared and alone.
I dated girls...then felt awful when they fell for me and I had no interest in them..I felt I was betraying them and everyone by pretending to be attracted to them so I would have to break it off afer feeling like I was wasting their time.
When I had become 18-21 it was almost more than I could bare...I would drive to work across the same bridge every day and say to myself...I could just drive right off the side and all the pain and humiliation would be over...I would steer towards the edge and at the last minute pull back and cry. There were also many times that i would grab a prescription bottle and fantasize about ending it by taking the whole thing...or sitting in the car in the garage and let the engine run. I then joined the marine Corps because if they could not make me a normal guy, noone could. I got out after 4 years...still the same but with less hope.
Then one day after feeling like either I would die or be who i am at age 25...I came out and felt like I had just been born but was immediatly shunned. My family and friends eventually came around I have to ask you all that say this is a choice....would anyone ever choose to go through this????

bondjapan...Propaganda????? OMG isn't that the black bible calling the black bible black. Propaganda is what the born agains and Mormans and other religious zealots do for fun, work and sport.

re. bondjapan-
yes, except for that it is based on a true story, about a real religous zealot.

I lost my first partner to AIDS and had to endure that experience alone because I had not yet come out to my friends or family. My mother was and is exactly like Mary Griffith. I was fortunate enough to come out the other side of that horrifying experience a stronger and more confident man than nearly anyone I know.

Shelly, you are entitled to your opinion, however delusional it may be. Fortunately the upcoming generation is entitled to theirs as well and they reject your entire line of thinking.

The Bible says bastard children are not to be accepted into the kingdom of God unto their 10th generation. The decendents of the original sinner are damned for something over which they have no control. Homosexuality is perhaps a question of nature versus nurture, but in neither case is it a choice. I could no more choose to be straight than I could choose to be religious. It is something I feel to the core of my being, just as I am certain beyond words that there are no invisible people controlling things in this universe.

This movie presented very well many of the aspects gay people experience through adolescence. Sigourney Weaver's performance was perfect and whether or not she wins awards, she will win accolades from the gay community for humanizing us.

I have to say.. this movie hit home in many ways... as a 37 year old gay man... I have been close to where bobby ended up. My parents were not religious... I was ... My grandparents were... My father couldn't accept me ... and disowned me for several years. Eventually he understood I was the same child he raised... we ended up being best friends before his passing 2.5 years ago. My grandmother couldn't stand me. She and I debated the bible on a regular basis.

I spent alot of time learning the word of God and researching the different translations. SO many words couldn't be translated into modern word that they made up meanings.

THANK YOU LIFETIME.. this story has made me remember why I love people... and that is so there never has to be another Bobby... but in my heart... I know there will be. As long as people hate, degrade, misunderstand and refuse to accept... there is always going to be another bobby and another Mathew Shepard.

Some of the comments back to Shelly have been wrong in my opinion... Remember we have to love... not hate. Its only through love, compassion and understanding that people will accept change ... its not through negative comments and our own frustrated comments.

I can't believe people don't see this movie for the brainwashing propoganda that it is. Anyone who holds the view that homosexuality is objectively disordered is portrayed as a small-minded, mean-spirited, religious zealot. Talk about stereotyping.

I just watched this movie and hope that it helps people understand and investigate beyond what they've been told in their church.

Shelly, I'm amazed at how you think we just have to believe and pray to be set free of being gay. That is absolutely ridiculous! Growing up society taught me that gay was wrong. I prayed every night through my teen years to wake up "straight". I truly wanted that because I didn't want to be "sick, perverted or a bad person." Guess what Shelly, it never worked. I even got married and had 3 children thinking that being married and having a family would change me. That didn't work either. Maybe I should have tried a pill or something; do you know of one? I am now a single father of three, living a gay life. I am a much happier person now and believe that god loves us for who we are and not for what we are.

It is your ignorance that causes devastation to many families with gay or lesbian members. Believe me it is not a choice. I did not choose this. Why would I or anyone else choose to be an outcast and hated on?

One more thing Shelly; Do you "choose" to be straight. Are you sexually attracted to women but just choose to be with men? According to your beliefs if Gay was the norm and being straight was wrong and sinful, would it be just that easy for you to pray and believe in god that he will "heal" you? I strongly doubt that!

I watched the movie Saturday night and cried soo much. I have a sister that is gay and I remember when she came out to us when she was 14. Because of what I had been "taught" like Bobby's mother in the movie it was hard for me as well as my parents to understand why and how. I found a poem that she wrote that asked God why would she be made this way and if it would be better that she died. After reading that poem I showed it to my parents and we all knew then that we would rather have my sister alive and gay than dead and gay. We knew that regardless of her lifestyle she was still the same person that we loved so dearly. I actually told her to watch the movie tonight. Sigorney Weaver deserves huge accolades for her role in this movie. She acted her butt off!!!!! This is one of the best lifetime movies I've seen a while!!!

I couldn't believe how realistic this movie was. I lost my 15 year old son to suicide just 2 years ago. He was not gay, but we have many gay friends. It was so close to home for me and I thought that Sigourney reinacted the feelings a mother goes through after loosing a child to suicide amazingly well. Although I cried through almost this entire movie, I loved it and am telling all of my friends they should watch it. My 13 year old son loved it too.

Oh and one more thing.

Shelly, when exactly did God start offering internships to witness his/her workings? You speak as if you have witnessed God working his/her magic.

Oh wait, you probably obtained your infinite wisdom from the God manual (aka Bible).

Well while you are living by your life's manual. Make sure you observe all entries contained in the text you reference. And just know that in doing so, I pray that you are never raped because if that happens and you are all abiding by your book of life, you will have to marry the man who rapes you and if you don't cry out for help... well that is an entirely other story, you will just get stoned to death.

I think after seeing references like that in the Bible, I'd rather continue living my life of sin and I will choose to worship God instead of the Bible which in my world are two entirely different entities.

As a gay woman, I'd take time to pray to God to save my life from my homosexual ways but I find it much more important to use my prayers for people like Shelly. :-)

I am 47 and gay and still long for the acceptance of my parents. Especially Mom...There is such a strong need to know she loves you for who you are not for what you had to pretend to be for the world. This movie shows that! I just hope that it touches the hearts of parents in this situation. If this movie saves 1 young man or woman it is a triumph!

I thought this movie was an amazing story. It is sad that it had to happen this way. It is sad that people are still so concerned with sexuality. We dont choose it, were born that way. Stop being so ignorant and open your eyes and heart because you never know what you could be missing out on. We are only afraid of what we dont know. I can only hope that we as a human race who all bleed red will stop hating each other. We have to be the change we want to see in the world. I dont know about you, but I dont want to raise my children in a world of hatred and bigotry.

Shelly is still living in the past. The bible was written so long ago. Grow up. Today is a new day and we all deserve to be treated with the same respect as everyone else. Gays are born this way and some people will never understand because you aren't GAY. Why would we choose to be gay when most of the time gays get looked down upon. This movie was great and I hope alot of people out there like shelly learn something from it.

I am a 24 year old gay man. When I came out to my parents seven years ago as a junior in high school it was because I attempted suicide by swallowing an exorbitant amount of tylenol pills. My parents too sent me to a psychiatrist. I was told by my father that he never wanted to know if I was ever seeing someone. My grandmother also told me that she prays every night that I will turn heterosexual, and that if I don't she "won't be seeing me in heaven." I know am a college graduate and live happily in Fort Lauderdale, FL as a well adjusted gay man, however I am still haunted by what people have said and done to me. I'm so glad a movie like this was made for TV and hopefully it opened some peoples' eyes.

Magnificent performances by all, particularly the leads. One gets a real sense of the characters and family dynamic. I managed to hold it in until the end, when SW hugs the child watching the parade. A wonderful film that everyone should see.

This movie was great. I'm not gay, bisexual, nor transgendered but i have always felt that people who do not treat gay people equally as others isnt fair. i'm hoping that people will realize that it doesn't matter whether your straight or not... your still a person. i love how mary griffith turned around in the movie but only if she had realized it before bobby's death. but atleast she realized it. shes now a great person that helped alot to the gay community. im just sorry it had to take her son's death for her to get it through her head that there was nothing wrong with him. well thanks alot, the movie really empowered me more then i thought it would. :)

As a mother of three, I was so touched by this movie. If you have not seen it, grab a box of tissues and tune in!

as a gay boy i am touched by this movie i have watched it about 5 times it relly touched me in my heart it fells good to know that there is someone out there that is trying to maike a difference in trying to make it easer for us gays and lesibans

I too agree that Ms. Weaver deserves an Emmy for her wonderful performance in this important film. It was however Ryan Kelley's heart wrenching performance as Bobby that really touched me. I hope this incredible young actor's work is also remembered at Emmy time!




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