As the 2014 “Oscars” approaches (March 2nd, 2014, for those keeping track), one can only wonder which winning acceptance speeches, if any, will stand out and be counted with the other previous years as the most memorable? Looking back through the years, it is not hard to find many speeches that made the cut. Here we will take a look at a small portion of them (as determined by VH1 and ABC news), in no particular order.
In 1996, Cuba Gooding, Jr., took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in “Jerry Maguire.” What makes his speech so memorable is that he starts off by stating that he knows he does not have much time, but that he is going to thank everyone anyway and it is okay to cut away while he is doing it. Then, when the producers do that very thing and you hear the telling music, signaling it is time to “get off the stage,” it only serves to excite Cuba into a frenzy and he begins to quickly fire out name after name of all those he wants to thank, which culminates in an exclamation of “love” for everyone involved with the making of the picture. His genuine excitement and singular moment of almost breaking down and crying conveys just how special a moment it was for him.
Jack Palance’s 1992 role in “City Slickers” won him the Best Supporting Actor award. Mr. Palance passed away in 2006, but at the time he won the award, he was 73 years old. One question need only be asked: how many one-armed push-ups can you do? Palance did four and then a few more two-handed ones and he did it onstage during his acceptance speech. It would seem quite clear why this moment ranks as one of the most memorable in Oscars history.
“Titanic” was not just a big ship; in 1998 it was a huge blockbuster film, which won James Cameron the Oscar for Best Director. Now Cameron won a total of three awards that night, but two of them he shared with others, the Best Director award was his and his alone. He was very diligent in the thanking of all those involved with the film, but his shining moment came at the end of his speech when he shouts out “I’M THE KING OF THE WORLD!” Just like Leonardo DiCaprio did in the movie.
One of the most emotional and memorable speeches ever given came from Halle Berry for her Best Actress role in 2001’s “Monster’s Ball.” From the instant Berry is named the winner, you can already tell this is going to be an emotional ride. It is obvious to all that she had no idea that she had any chance of winning at all, but to her credit, she gave a speech that was both powerful and sincere. Oh, by the way, she was the first African-American woman to win that award, which might explain her emotional state that night.
“The Blind Side”
First time nominated and first-time winner. For Best Actress in 2010, the award went to Sandra Bullock for “The Blind Side.” Bullock starts her speech off with “Did I really earn this or did I just wear y’all down?” From there she goes on to give a speech one might expect from a repeat Oscar winner, such as Meryl Streep, who coincidentally Bullock beat out that night for the award, but then confessed later in the closing of her speech to Streep being her “lover,” metaphorically speaking, of course.
Will this year’s awards ceremony garner any moments that will live in the Annals of the “Academy Awards”? Fortunately you don’t have much longer to wait and find out.