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The BEST Oscar speeches this year

Last updated on: March 03, 2014 14:04 IST

Image: Lupita Nyong'o
Photographs: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters Raja Sen

Presenting seven impassioned acceptance speeches from the recently concluded Oscars that stood out.

The Oscars have come and gone and stayed mostly unsurprising, and the ceremony would have been sheer tedium were it not for the great acceptance speeches.

Moments of unfiltered candour, articulacy under pressure, grace and gratefulness, humour and hilarity.

Out of the 14 Oscar-winning categories, here are the 7 speeches I liked best:

Lupita Nyong’o: Best Supporting Actress, 12 Years A Slave

Thank you to the Academy for this incredible recognition. It doesn't escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else's. And so I want to salute the spirit of Patsey for her guidance. And for Solomon, thank you for telling her story and your own.

Steve McQueen, you charge everything you fashion with a breath of your own spirit. Thank you so much for putting me in this position, it's been the joy of my life. [Tears, applause.] I'm certain that the dead are standing about you and watching and they are grateful and so am I.

Chiwetel, thank you for your fearlessness and how deeply you went into Solomon, telling Solomon's story.

Michael Fassbender, thank you so much. You were my rock. Alfre and Sarah, it was a thrill to work with you. Joe Walker, the invisible performer in the editing room, thank you. Sean Bobbitt, Kalaadevi, Adruitha, Patty Norris, thank you, thank you, thank you --  I could not be here without your work.

I want to thank my family, for your training [laughs] and the Yale School of Drama as well, for your training. My friends the Wilsons, this one's for you. My brother Junior sitting by my side, thank you so much, you're my best friend and then my other best friend, my chosen family.

When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you're from, your dreams are valid. Thank you.

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Cate Blanchett: Best Actress, Blue Jasmine

Image: Cate Blanchett
Photographs: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Sit down, you're too old to be standing!

Thank you, Mr Day-Lewis, from you it exacerbates this honour to a… it blows it right out of the ballpark.

Thank you so much, the Academy, as random and subjective as this award is, it means a great deal. In a year of extraordinary -- yet again -- extraordinary performances by women: Amy Adams, everything you do, but your performance in American Hustle blew my mind; and Meryl [Streep], what can I say?; Sandra [Bullock], I could watch that performance to the end of time, and it felt like I had; Julia [Roberts], hashtag, suck it, you know what I mean? And Judi Dench! She's not here tonight because at the age of 79, her film was so successful that she's in India doing a sequel, I mean, what a career that is, if I can hope…

And me, I’m here accepting an award in an extraordinary screenplay by Woody Allen. Thank you so much, Woody, for casting me, I truly appreciate it.

I'm so very proud that Blue Jasmine stayed in the cinemas for as long as it did. Thank you to Sony Classics, to Michael and Tom for their support, and to the audiences who went to see it, and perhaps those of us in the industry that female films -- with women at the centre -- are niche experiences, they are not.

Audiences want to see them, and, in fact, they earn money. The world is round, people!

Thank you to my mum, to my sister, to my brother, to my three glorious sons, I would not be standing here without you. To my husband Andrew, you are a legend.

Thank you to my agent Hilda Crilly, you're behind the pillar somewhere there. To the sublime Sally Hawkins, and to the extraordinary cast of Blue Jasmine. I don't know how to do this without other actors and this I share with you.

To the hair and makeup people who sweated me off and tried to make me look attractive, thank you for the attempt. To Carla Meyer for getting Sally and I together and for great support.

To everyone involved in Blue Jasmine I thank you so much, and finally, I would like to thank every single member of the Sydney Theatre Company, one of the great theatre companies of the world.

For me, working in Blue Jasmine was a real synthesis of working in theatre and in film, and not only has working with you for the last six years been one of the greatest privileges of my career, but it has made me a better actress.

Thank you so much, thank you.

Paolo Sorrentino: Best Foreign Film, The Great Beauty

Image: Paulo Sorrentino delivres his acceptance speech as actor Tony Servillo looks on
Photographs: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Thank you to the Academy, thank you to Tommy and Nicole and all the actors and producers.

Thank you to my sources of inspiration, Federico Fellini, Talking Heads, Martin Scorsese and Diego Fernando Maradona.

And thank you to Roma and to Napoli and my personal great beauty, Daniela D’Antonia.

Thank you to my brother and my sister and this is for my parents.

Thank you very much.


Alfonso Cuaron: Best Director, Gravity

Image: Alfonso Cuaron
Photographs: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

Wow, thank you.

Thanks to the Academy.

Um, like any other human making a film is a transformative experience, and Gravity, for many of us involved in this film, it was a transformative experience.

And it's good, because it took so long that if it were not, it would be a waste of time. What really sucks is that, well, for a lot of these people that transformation was wisdom; for me it was just the colour of my hair.

I want to share this with all these wise people who made this happen: my son and amazing co-writer Jonas Cuaron, Sandra Bullock -- Sandy, you're Gravity! You're the soul, the heart of the film, you're the most amazing collaborator and one of the best people I ever met -- and George Clooney, David Hayman, Chivo, Tim Webber for making this film people.

The wiseguys at Warner Brothers.. Um, the wise people at Warner Brothers.

And the film took so long that we went through two different administrations, so I have to honour as well Jeff Rubinov, Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu and Guillermo Del Toro, Gabriella Rodriguez, Steve Rubinov, Tracey Jacobs and Christine -- [speaks in Spanish, ends with Ti Amo.]


Matthew McConaughey: Best Actor, Dallas Buyers Club

Image: Matthew McConaughey
Photographs: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Ha ha, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Thank you to the Academy for this, all 6000 members. To the other nominees; all these performances were impeccable, in my opinion. I didn't see a false note anywhere. I want to thank Jean Marc Vallee, my director, I want to thank Jared Leto and Jennifer Garner, whom I worked with daily.

There are a few things -- there are three things -- to my account that I need each day: one of them is something to look up to, another is something to look forward to and another is someone to chase.

Now, first off I wanna thank God, because that's who I look up to. He's graced my life with opportunities that I know weren't of my end or of human end, and He's shown me that it's a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates.

In the words of the late Charlie Laughton, "When you got God you got a friend, and that friend is you."

To my family, that's who and what I look forward to. To my father who I know is up there right now, with a big pot of gumbo, he's got a lemon meringue pie right there, he's probably in his underwear, and he's got a cold can of Miller Lite.

He's dancing right now. To you Dad, you taught me to be a man. To my mother, who’s here tonight, who taught me and my two brothers, demanded that we respect ourselves.

And what we in turn learned was that we were better able to respect others. To my wife Camilla and my kids, the courage and significance you give me every day I go out is unparalleled; you are the four people in my life I want to make the most proud of me. Thank you.

And to my hero. That's who I chase. Now when I was 15 years old, I had a very important person in my life ask "who’s your hero?" and I said "Lemme think about that, give me a couple of weeks." I come back two weeks later, this person says "who your hero?" and I said, "I thought about that, you know who it is? It’s me in ten years."

So I turned 25 and that same person asked me "So are you your hero?" And I said "Not even close, no no no." She said "Why?" and I said "My hero is me at 35. So you see every day, every week, every month and every year of my life, my hero is always ten years away. I'm never going to beat my hero, I'm not going to attain that.

And I'm fine with that ‘cause that keeps me with somebody to keep on chasing.

So to any of us, whatever those things are we look up to, whatever it is we look forward to and whoever it is wer'e chasin', to that I say amen (thumps chest); to that I say "Alright, alright, alright.'

Thank you.


Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez: Best Original Song for Let It Go (Frozen)

Image: Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
Photographs: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

[With this win Robert Lopez became one of the few people to win an EGOT — an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and a Tony award]

- Oh wow, thank you Academy.

- And to our fellow nominees: you are all rock-stars. Literally.

- And we have so many people to thank, but luckily their names rhyme.

- Idina Menzel!

- Kristen Bell!

- Jennifer Lee!

- Peter Del Vie!

- Chris Buck!

- Chris Beck!

- John Lassetter!

Happy Oscars to you, Lets Do Frozen 2!


Best Documentary: 20 Feet From Stardom

Image: Darlene Love sings as Morgan Neville and Caitrin Rogers (R) look on
Photographs: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

This would have been just a routine speech but Darlene Love -- a famed backup singer who came to accept the award for the documentary about backup singers of the 1950s and 1960s -- decided to sing her acceptance speech.

Suddenly she let her legendary gospel pipes loose and belted out His Eye On The Sparrow.

It was more than a minute of hardcore, unanticipated music, and at the end of the spirited, impromptu performance, Bill Murray leapt to his feet and started applauding -- which led the entire crowd to follow suit.

That's one standing ovation nobody expected for the otherwise drab Best Documentary category.