the oscarsIt seems especially gratifying for award-winning artists to feel supported by their peers.  In their acceptance speeches they often thank God, their parents, their partners, their fellow nominees, their behind-the-scenes team, and the people who helped them through their creative journeys. A few of them will find a way to promote a special cause or add their POV to a trending controversy.

If you pay close attention you can see how their well rehearsed speeches are often sabotaged by flashing seconds on a counter, swelling music urging them to wrap up, and millions of eyes on them.  Then the celebration enters an emotional territory full of tears, jokes, irony, and memorable moments. In these moments of spontaneity and genuine emotion you can see how the artists’ vanity turns into love and their artistic minds turn into hearts bursting with gratitude.

Here are excerpts of a few of my favorite heartfelt Oscar speeches from the past 20 years:

  • Oscars 2015 – JK Simmons, Best Supporting Actor: “Call your mom, call your dad. If you’re lucky enough to have a parent or two alive on this planet, call ‘em. Don’t text. Don’t email. Call them on the phone. Tell ‘em you love ‘em, and thank them, and listen to them for as long as they want to talk to you. Thank you. Thank you, Mom and Dad.”
  • Oscars 2005 – Cate Blanchett, Best Supporting Actress: “But most importantly, and on behalf of everyone I know in “The Aviator,” thank you to Martin Scorsese. I hope my son will marry your daughter. Thank you.”
  • Oscars 2002 – Halle Berry, Best Actress: “This moment is so much bigger than me. This moment is for Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne, Diahann Carroll. It’s for the women that stand beside me, Jada Pinkett, Angela Bassett, Vivica Fox. And it’s for every nameless, faceless woman of color that now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened. Thank you.”
  • Oscars 1998 – Roberto Benigni, Best Actor: “I am not able to express all my gratitude, because now, my body is in tumult because it is a colossal moment of joy so everything is really in a way that I cannot express. I would like to be Jupiter! And kidnap everybody and lie down in the firmament making love to everybody, because I don’t know how to express. It’s a question of love.”
  • Oscars 1995 – Tom Hanks, Best Actor: “And believe me, the power and the pleasure and the emotion of this moment is a constant the speed of light. It will never be diminished, nor will my appreciation and the meaning between two simple words that I can only offer you here: Thank you.”

There is art in acceptance speeches when the artist leaves a piece of their humanity and connects deeply with the entire world celebrating The Oscars.

Thank you world