It’s Oscar week! I hope you are all ready for Oscar-themed goodness all week because that’s what’s on the menu. Last night, I read an article about the ‘best’-ever Oscar acceptance speeches. Before I knew it, I was on youtube searching Oscar speech videos for a couple hours (sigh), reminiscing over the best and worst from our favorite statue winners (and oh, the outdated fashion!). I usually don’t like speeches regardless of the award or event, but I have to admit there are a couple of Hollywood heavyweights who can add orator to their repertoire. And others who can probably just stick to the script.
I wasn’t too fond of some of the author’s choices for best Oscar speeches, but the topic itself is pretty intriguing considering it often allows a rare opportunity for filmmakers to be off the cuff, and we as viewers get a glimpse inside a usually very guarded persona.
I agree that Jack Palance, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova should be on this list. And I guess Tom Hanks, because like U2, he can do anything comparable to curing cancer. In the end, they exude personality and gracious acceptance. I can never accept Shakespeare In Love winning any Oscars, so for me, that year never happened (sorry Gwyneth). Angie Jolie-Pitt is a wreck, but her performance in Girl, Interrupted was worthy of Oscar.
During my travels within the youtube universe I found some great speeches not represented on the list that I think should be there. They’re not extraordinary by any means, just simple, real, and joyous.
My random picks for the best in no particular order (I chose five):
Joe Pesci- Best Supporting Actor for Goodfellas
It’s less than three seconds long. The way every speech should be.
Anna Paquin-Best Supporting Actress for The Piano
She’s absolutely adorable, says what she needs to say, and gets out.
Matt Damon and Ben Affeck-Best Original Screenplay for Good Will Hunting
Again, they’re adorable. They brought their moms to the ceremony for godsakes. They represent themselves as down to earth kids completely terrified by their success.
Robin Williams-Best Supporting Actor for Good Will Hunting
I was so happy that the academy finally recognized Robin Williams for his work. I loved this movie, and especially his role in it. He seems so moved, and his words definitely impacted me.
Vivian Leigh-Best Actress for Gone with the Wind
I read in the video’s comments that early Oscar ceremonies used to be broadcast live only over the radio, and so the video clip of Vivian Leigh was actually filmed backstage after she had won. Regardless of whether it’s the second or hundredth take, they just don’t make class like this anymore.
Look up these sweet videos on youtube and take a trip down memory lane! What are your favorites?