So another Oscars has come and gone, and they did not disappoint! This was the first time that I've ever watched the FULL ceremony from start to finish. The verdict: Some touching acceptance speeches, some political activism, and some complete disregard for the "start wrapping up your speech, please" music. But who can blame them? While I'm usually a stickler for respecting the time limits, when you've got that moment in the spotlight in front of, oh, say... 36 million people!....hey, even *I* might take a few extra seconds to enjoy it too.
There were so many Oscar speeches -- 27, to be exact -- but let's be honest, despite the talented geniuses that work on every aspect of every movie, from costume to editing to writing screenplays and everything in between our interest is usually focused on the Big Ones, a.k.a. Best Supporting Actor/Actress, Best Actor/Actress, Best Director and Best Movie.
And as I said, they did not disappoint. Here's exactly WHY the actors and actresses rocked their speeches, not only for WHAT they said, but HOW they said it. And why the Best Original Song deserved a place in this list too.
1. To Read or Not to Read, That Is the Question - Patricia Arquette (Best Supporting Actress) and Julianne Moore (Best Actress)
Patricia Arquette read her Oscar acceptance speech, while Julianne Moore had an eloquent speech that didn't use notes. Does that mean that Julianne's speech was BETTER than Patricia's, or that Julianne was more well-prepared? Absolutely not!
When you're preparing for a possible moment to shine in front of a billion people, it's not the time to stress out over what you're going to say. If Patricia Arquette wanted to make sure that in this very emotionally-charged moment, she didn't miss anyone that she had to thank, didn't want to risk 'blanking-out,' or didn't want to forget any part of her political statement, then by all means...writing it down was the right thing to do. In a case like this, if using notes alleviates your stress and allows you to speak you message in a calmer, clearer way, then go ahead! Kudos to her for preparing in the way that she felt was necessary.
Julianne Moore was able to speak easily, without notes. But do we know if she prepared for the possibility of winning by rehearsing this speech hundreds of times? Nope. Do we know if she forgot to say something, or thank someone, because she didn't have notes? Nope. Does it even matter to us? Nope. Whatever the case, she was able to speak eloquently without any notes -- so kudos to her as well.
2. It's Kinda Fun to Watch a Genuine 'Freak Out' - Eddie Redmayne (Best Actor)
Wasn't this just a great moment of pure, unbridled joy? I loved the moment where he stops talking and just goes "wow!" while attempting to catch his breath. He was so excited, so overjoyed, and it was a pleasure to watch such a genuine emotional reaction.
3. Go Kiss Your Mother! - J.K. Simmons (Best Supporting Actor)
What more can be said about this one, other than...go kiss your mother! (and don't forget to call your parents). A message of thanks, love, and humility. This was one of the first awards of the evening, and I believe that it really set the tone for all the following acceptance speeches, which very notably and specifically thanked parents along with the spouses and children. I believe more parents were thanked in this Oscars ceremony than in the years before thanks to J.K.'s well-meaning words. Now THAT'S a measurable impact.
4. Two Men, Two Vastly Different Speaking Styles, ONE Impactful Message - Common and John Legend, (Best Original Song)
Here are two very different types of speakers, with vastly different speaking styles, who both delivered a very powerful message in their own unique way. When Common started speaking, you could tell the power emanating from him. He's a very strong speaker with a very commanding presence. When he spoke, he was absolutely captivating in his passion for the subject of the movie, equal rights, and justice. When he was done and John Legend took the microphone, I thought to myself, "How is he going to follow THAT?" And yet, despite having a much more soft-spoken and 'gentle' speaking style, he spoke with a calm, quiet confidence that equally matched Common's impact, despite the latter's higher level of intensity. Two very different types of speakers, yet they both spoke with great impact. That's the power of staying authentic, and honouring their own unique speaking style.
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