The Oscars 2015: The Best Acceptance Speeches
Speeches punctuated by politics
This year's Oscars 2015 acceptance speeches were almost all delivered with eloquence, sincerity and dignity, with the exception, perhaps, of Pawel Pawlikowski, the Polish director who won for 'Best Foreign Language Film' (Poland's first ever Oscar.) He was played off by the music, yet continued his speech in a wave of overwhelming (and defiant) emotion, until he was seemingly played back on. That took some courage. However, the resounding voice from this year's winners was an informed social and political one.
We can go no further without first talking about Patricia Arquette's rousing speech, which seemed to pick up the baton (and run with it) right where Cate Blachett left it last year, as she delivered a rousing speech calling for equal pay for women: "To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation," said Arquette. "We have fought for everybody else's equal rights. It's our time to have wage equality once for all. And equal rights for women in the United States of America." Her speech nearly evoked a rally there and then as Meryl Streep punched the air in active agreement, with Jennifer Lopez by her side roaring with applause.
Also transforming the Oscars stage into a political podium was Alejandro González Iñárritu, the Birdman director, who oscillated between comedy and political commentary by thanking his lucky underwear before later shining a spotlight on the issue of immigration in the USA as well as the state of Mexican politics. He dedicated his win to "my fellow Mexicans." "The ones who live in Mexico, I pray that we can find and build a government that we deserve," he said. And, he added, for the ones who live in America, he hopes they are "treated with the same dignity and respect."
John Legend and Common were the unanimous hit of the evening, delivery a heart-stopping rendition of their hit song Glory which went on to win 'Best Song'. Legend's speech continued the message of the song and film, Selma, for which it was written: "Selma is now, because the struggle for justice is now," Legend said. "We know that the voting rights that they fought for 50 years ago is being compromised in this country today...People are marching with our song - we see you, we love you," he said. "March on."
From the political to the social, 'Best Actress' and 'Best Actor' winners Julianne Moore and Eddie Redmayne both took the opportunity to raise awareness and honour those who suffer from the respective diseases that they each portrayed in their Oscar winning roles. Moore, for Alzheimer's, who dedicated her win to the people living with Altzeimer's who generously let her in to their world in preparation for her performance in Still Alice. Redmayne vowed to act as a custodian for the award that he wished to share with his fellow cast and crew as well as the wider ALS community. He vowed to take care of it and admitted that: "I'm fully aware that I'm a lucky, lucky man,"
The surprise and heartfelt speech from young screenwriter Graham Moore, who won for The Imitation Game, bravely confessed to feeling different as a young man and not fitting in, which lead to a suicide attempt (an issue that the 'Best Short Film' makers also referenced) he finished on a lighter note by urging everyone to "Stay weird, stay different."
Other winners of the evening, including J.K Simmons, thanked their colleges, co-stars, directors and families. Simmons referenced his "above average children" and urged everyone watching to pick up the phone and call their parents.