Throughout the years there have been countless Oscar speeches… I realize they’re not countless; I’m just too lazy to do the math.
They've been arrogant (James Cameron proclaiming himself “King of the World”), eccentric (Roberto Benigni’s excited and rambling win for “Life is Beautiful”) and done right bizarre (Sacheen Littlefeather (aka Marie Cruz) refusing the award on behalf of Marlon Brando).
However, there has been one Oscar acceptance speech that I feel stands head and shoulders above the rest as the perfect way in which the Best Actor award has been accepted. Leonardo DiCaprio honourably payed respect to America’s indigenous population in his Golden Globe speech and made a plea for younger generations to look back into Hollywood’s history when accepting his SAG Award and if he is destined to take home the Oscar this year for “The Revenant” there is one speech he should look closely at and consider before walking up those steps and finally clutching his long sought after Academy Award…
Dustin Hoffman’s heartfelt and brilliant acceptance speech for “Kramer vs. Kramer” at the 52nd Academy Awards back in 1980 is, what I feel at least, to be the perfect example of an award acceptance speech. Appearing both honoured and annoyed at the opportunity, Hoffman perfectly weaves in laughs as well as heartfelt sincerity as he points out the ridiculous nature of awards themselves, the lack of diversity within the film industry and what it truly means to be an actor.
This is the high water mark of awards acceptance speeches and something that should, much like what Leo said in his SAG speech, be looked at by younger generations.
(Plus I just wanted an excuse to show people this awesome clip again).
Written by Chris Swan