Once again, it’s Oscar time. A time to reflect on movies that left a mark. Some make you cry, cringe, or make you believe in the power of the human spirit. The moment in time when you think of this movie and it becomes one of your favorites. You believe and enjoy it so much that you tune in to see if the Academy appreciates your choice too.
Let’s go over the history of the Oscars. Do you remember the speeches? What made it memorable? Did it inspire tears or a standing ovation? No long list of thank-you or phony praises to God included.
Here are the five most memorable Oscar speeches over its 86 years.
Marlon Brando (The Godfather, 1973)
In 1973 Marlon Brando won Best Actor for The Godfather. What was so memorable? He did not attend the ceremony and picked a Native American actress, Sacheen Littlefeather to go in his place. He had a long speech prepared but it was not meant to be.
Anna Paquin (The Piano, 1993)
She was only 11 when she won for Best Supporting Actress. The look of surprise on her face was priceless. She giggled. Her speech was short, but she managed to thank those she worked with. The Piano is the story of a mute woman in an arranged marriage. She leaves Scotland with her daughter, Flora (Paquin) and treasured piano for New Zealand. Life in this land is not what she expected. Neither is the marriage. Flora is her interpreter since she is not able to speak. Holly Hunter also won for her portrayal of mute Ada McGrath.
Cuba Gooding Jr. (Jerry Maguire, 2003)
He expressed his gratitude and love to those who helped him. The movie coined the phrase, “Show me the money!” Tom Cruise was the title character but Cuba Gooding shined as Maguire’s eccentric football player client.
Tom Hanks (Philadelpha, 1993)
Tom Hanks won for Best Actor and it was fitting that he mentioned a gay classmate in his speech.
Adrien Brody (The Pianist, 2002)
He won for Best Actor in a Leading Role. He planted a kiss on Halle Berry without warning.
This film is based on the autobiography of Wladyslaw Szpilman. It is a story of a Jewish man surviving the Nazi seize with the help of the Polish community. Brody plays Szpilman who is a gifted classical pianist. It is a testimony to the grim ghetto. The movie is not a thriller and does not make an attempt at suspense.