The Academy Awards, or the Oscars are often considered as the zenith of achievement for anyone associated with filmmaking. It goes without saying how thrilled an actor must be when his or her work is rewarded with the Golden Statuette. We bring to you eight of the most inspiring, moving, hilarious and profound acceptance speeches in Academy history.
1. Jack Lemmon
Award: Best Actor, Save The Tiger (1973)
Highlight: Lemmon bested an impressive nominee lineup: Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson, Robert Redford and Marlon Brando to become the first actor to win a second Oscar after eight nominations and eighteen years. His speech was hilarious, earnest and grateful in equal parts.
2. Louise Fletcher
Award: Best Supporting Actress, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (1976)
Highlight: “I’ve loved being hated by you”, said Fletcher who won the award for her portrayal of the despicable nurse in the film, finishing her speech by thanking her hearing-impaired parents in sign language.
3. Tom Hanks
Award: Best Actor, Philadelphia (1993)
Highlight: A visibly moved Hanks shared his award with co-actor Denzel Washington, expressed his gratitude towards his formative influences, two of whom also happened to be gay, and a very touching dedication: “I know that my work in this case is magnified by the fact that the streets in heaven are too crowded with angels."
4. Cuba Gooding Jr
Award: Best Supporting Actor, Jerry Maguire (1997)
Highlight: In an extension of his devil-may-care act from the film, Gooding made a spirited speech well past the cue music for him to leave the stage, thanking probably everyone he knew, to thunderous applause!
5. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon
Award: Best Original Screenplay, Good Will Hunting (1997)
Highlight: Taking a page out of Cuba Gooding Jr's boisterous bit, Affleck and Damon were just a couple of awkward youngsters too excited for sobriety at their win. Refreshingly funny!
6. Russell Crowe
Award: Best Actor, Gladiator (2001)
Highlight: Steve Martin’s hilarious presentation speech was only topped by a stunned Crowe making a heartfelt speech about how having the courage to pursue your dreams culminated in moments like these, and acknowledged that he owed the win to “this one bloke and his name is (director) Ridley Scott”.
7. Patricia Arquette
Award: Best Supporting Actress, Boyhood (2015)
Highlight: After reading out from a sheet the names of everyone she was grateful to, Arquette used the dais to voice her support of equal pay for women in Hollywood and all over America, to an animated shout-out by Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez.
8. Leonardo DiCaprio
Award: Best Actor, The Revenant (2016)
Highlight: In a speech that was long overdue, DiCaprio made the usual acknowledgements while an emotional Kate Winslet watched on. DiCaprio emphasised on the need to conserve the environment, lauded the efforts of the indigenous communities, and concluded with the winning lines, “Let us not take this planet for granted, I do not take tonight for granted”.
Which of these speeches would you give an Oscar to? Comment below!
All videos sourced from Youtube
Title image: ibtimes