These are some of the greatest moments of the Oscars: the Speeches. I have a feeling that this year the speeches will be interrupted by the orchestral music, as is commonplace at the Oscars.
In anticipation of the Oscars, I watched some of the best speeches and thought I would share. Enjoy!
- Halle Berry, Monster’s Ball (2002)
“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.”
2. Common and John Legend, Selma (2015)
(Starts at 2:30) Common – John and I got to go to Selma and perform Glory on the same bridge that Dr. King and the people of the civil rights movement marched on 50 years ago. This bridge was once a landmark of a divided nation but now is a symbol of change. The spirit of this bridge transcends race, gender, religion, sexual orientation and social status. The spirit of this bridge connects the kid from the south side of Chicago dreaming of a better life to those in France standing up for their freedom of expression to the people of Hong Kong protesting for Democracy. This bridge was built on hope welded with compassion and elevated by love for all human beings.
John – Nina Simone said “It’s an artist’s duty to reflect the times in which we live.” We wrote this song for a film based on events from 50 years ago but we say that Selma is now because the struggle for justice is right now. We know that the voting rights act that they fought for 50 years ago is being compromised right now in this country today. We know that right now the struggle for freedom and justice is real. We live in the most incarcerated country in the world. There are more black men under correctional control today than were under slavery in 1850. When people are marching with our song, we want to tell you we are with you, we see you, we love you and march on.
3. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, Good Will Hunting (1998)
This is probably how I would be if I had just won an Oscar with my best friend. Maybe with a few more tears. Maybe.
4. Jack Palance, City Slickers (1991)
It’s so much fun to see Jack make jokes about age, Hollywood and Billy Crystal. Seeing a young Whoopi was a lot of fun too. (He was also Ukrainian and his father was from the same area my family came from which was kinda neat to learn.)
*Side note – In 1980, Jack Palance narrated the documentary The Strongest Man in the World by Canadian filmmaker Halya Kuchmij, about Mike Swistun, a circus strongman who had been a student of Houdini’s. Palance attended the premiere of the film on June 6, 1980 at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.
5. Patricia Arquette, Boyhood (2015)
Starts at 2:00 – “To every woman who gave birth to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation: we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. it’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America.”
The 89th Academy Awards airs Sunday, Feb. 26 at 8:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. PT on ABC. The host this year is Jimmy Kimmel.