Thursday, 10 February 2011

The 10 Academy Awards Longest Acceptance Speeches

The 2011 Oscars are almost upon us, which means there'll be plenty more grimaced smiles and welling up from the losers and winners respectively. Winning speeches range from the good, the bad and the utterly forgettable but here we'll run down ten of the academy awards longest acceptance speeches.

#1 – Greer Garson – Best Actress, 1942

When it comes to the academy awards longest acceptance speeches, there is one effort that really stands out from all the rest and it's Greer Grason's effort back in 1942. Almost worthy of an Oscar in its own right, the winner of the best actress gong that year accounted for nearly six minutes of the assembled crowd's evening with a rambling monologue about life, love and everything in between. Amazingly, she began her speech with the line “I'm practically unprepared!”.

#2 – Adrien Brody – Best Actor, 2002

Brody was a surprise winner for is role in Roman Polanski's The Pianist and he was determined to milk it for it was worth. Few winners have found themselves getting more emotional than the 29-year-old youngest winner of Best Actor but he eventually got the message and tootled off to fairly rapturous applause and the 'get-off-the-stage' music ringing in his ears.

#3 – Gwyneth Paltrow – Best Actress, 1998

Something about watching a woman cry her eyes out and fail to form proper sentences makes even Oscar winning moments drag more than they otherwise might. Paltrow won best actress for her role in Shakespeare in Love back in 1998 and hasn't been invited back since. Can't think why.

#4 – Anna Paquin – Best Supporting Actress, 1993

Paquin wasn't yet in her teens when she picked up the best supporting actress prize for her role in The Piano, outdoing her much more experienced co-nominees. She made it to the stage but treated us to one of the least eventful but still one of the academy awards longest acceptance speeches – she stood in awed silence for a while, thanked a few people and then shuffled off.

#5 – Catherine Zeta-Jones – Best Supporting Actress, 2002

Heavily pregnant and hormonal is not an ideal state to be in when receiving an Oscar but that was just how Catherine Zeta-Jones found herself taking to the stage during the 74th Academy Awards. It resulted in one of the most gushing and excessively thankful speeches ever delivered.

#6 – Marion Cotillard - Best Actress, 2007

Despite claiming halfway through that she was “speechless”, Cotillard gave one of the lengthier acceptance speeches of recent years in 2007 after winning for her role as Edith Piaf in La Vie En Rose.

#7 – Daniel Day Lewis – Best Actor, 2007

Ever since Garson's epic speech in 1942, the Academy has been keen to see speeches last no longer than 45 seconds but no-one was going to drag Day Lewis off as he thanked all and sundry for helping him scoop the top prize for his efforts in There Will Be Blood.

#8 – Steven Spielberg – Best Director, 1994

Loving the sound of his own voice resonating around the LA auditorium, Spielberg tried to come across as just another humble director in his winning speech in 1994. Nobody bought it but he was allowed to carry on talking for well over the 45-second time limit, partly because he was talking about Schindler's List and partly because he's the highest grossing director of all time.

#9 – James Cameron – Best Director, 1997

One of very few people who can hold a candle to Spielberg in the directing stakes, at least as far as the box office is concerned, is James Cameron. He picked up the best director gong in 1997, gave us a few minutes of uninteresting thank yous and eventually left the stage shouting “I'm the king of the world”. Seriously. 

#10 – Peter Jackon – Best Picture, 2001

Anything Cameron can do, Jackson can do with a little less panache. He and two colleagues were given statues for the first Lord of the Rings in 2001. Jackson warmed up the crowd for about a minute or so and then handed the mic to fellow producer Barrie Osbourne, who killed it for another two minutes or so.

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