Fri. February 22
Some Imaginative Oscar Acceptance Speeches
As the Guardian’s Tom Shone explains,
far from being insincere, Oscar speeches may be one of the few times when actors tell the truth.” After all, Shone argues, “anyone who thinks you can get up on stage at the Dolby Theater in front of forty million people, take an atomic blast of approval from a select audience of your peers, and then fake your response, is very much mistaken . . . Gone is the phalanx of publicists, the glazed interview demeanor, the self-protective instincts born of a thousand paparazzo intrusions; and in its place the quick stumble of inarticulacy, the pink flush of pure need, as the star gulps down all the love and acceptance they stand revealed to have craved all along.
Shone’s point is well taken. After all, who goes into the business of acting in front of a camera but men and women who desire nothing so much as unconditional approval and attention. The result therefore is most likely to be predictably long telecast of winners extolling their own virtue through a thin veneer of humility and awe.
But before then, as those of us who are not going to win an Academy Award get to engage in predicting who will, perhaps we can take a moment to imagine a different Hollywood, made up of differently needy people who when presented with the golden statue might just surprise us with a different type of acceptance speech. What follows are some unpredictable acceptance speeches from this year’s Oscars:
- When in the final shock of the night Zero Dark Thirty takes the best Oscar trophy director and producer Kathryn Bigelow takes the microphone and declares “our film is a story of diligence and defense of the homeland. We are grateful for the recognition of our peers but we are most ardently thankful to the men and women, who would not rest until the butcher of 9/11, and many other murderous attacks, was finally located and ultimate justice was served.”
- Daniel Day-Lewis’s acceptance speech for Best Actor: “It was one of the most humbling and inspirational events of my life to briefly inhabit the character, bravery, and intelligence of this country’s sixteenth president.”
- Accepting her award for Best Actress, Jennifer Lawrence declares “I’m so thankful to the Academy for this honor and will treasure this memento for years to come. While I happily accept this trophy I wonder why it is that my work in Silver Linings Playbook should be viewed as more worthy of the ultimate accolade for entertaining an audience when my work in The Hunger Games, which is a depressing look at the future, is nothing but pure entertainment.”
- When Adele wins for her rendition of Skyfall she has the audience in stitches when she declares her surprise at receiving such an honor. “I thought you only gave Oscars to those who dressed up to look fat, not regular folks who really are portly.”
None of these acceptance speeches will be given on Sunday night, but don’t fret because as consolation we have the amazingly candid and very anonymous Oscar votes of one Hollywood director who spoke to the Hollywood Reporter as he was filling out his ballot. What a joy to read this insider’s assessment of each category and why he’s voting or not voting for each nominee. You can’t help but love his reasoning as to why he’s not voting for Amour’s helmsman for best director: “Amour is purely a performance piece; besides, Michael Haneke has pissed me off in the past because he’s made movies that are so misanthropic. He just hates human beings, and I happen to be a human being and don’t like being s__t on.”
Hurray for Hollywood.