Oscar winners acceptance speeches

Oscars 2015: Ranking the acceptance speeches

The 87th annual Academy Awards offered up a plethora of moving speeches, touching on subjects such as suicide, equal pay, racism, immigration, and more. But there were some speeches that stood out more than others, and as always, a handful you’ve probably already forgotten.

We rank them all below:

1. The Imitation Game’s Graham Moore, Best Adapted Screenplay
In one of the most talked about moments of the night, Graham Moore took the stage with a genuine sense of excitement. After adorably thanking Oprah—who presented the award—Moore turned his attention to a much more serious subject: Moore revealed that he tried to kill himself when he was 16. Moore then spoke directly to anyone who’s ever felt weird or different, telling them to “stay weird, stay different.”

2. Whiplash’s J.K. Simmons, Best Supporting Actor
Simmons, no stranger to the stage this awards season, used most of his time to thank his wife for her love, kindness, wisdom, sacrifice, and patience. That, of course, brought him to his now-famous “above-average” children. Simmons called his kids “extraordinary human beings, ” and in a moment that made all of America swoon, he called them a reflection of their mother.

He then moved his attention to the rest of us, passing along this message: “Call your mom, call your dad. If you’re lucky enough to have a parent or two alive on this planet, call ‘em. Don’t text. Don’t email. Call them on the phone. Tell ‘em you love ‘em, and thank them, and listen to them for as long as they want to talk to you. Thank you. Thank you, Mom and Dad.”

(BRB, calling my mom and dad.)

3. Selma’s John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn, Best Original Song for “Glory”
Common first thanked God before commenting on how the bridge where Martin Luther King Jr. marched in Selma, which was once a landmark of a divided nation, has now become a symbol for change. John Legend then continued the inspirational speech, talking about an artist’s duty to “reflect the time in which we live.” According to Legend, “Selma is now, because the struggle for justice is right now.” Legend then noted that America is the most incarcerated country in the world before leaving the audience with, “March on.”

4. Boyhood’s Patricia Arquette, Best Supporting Actress
After quickly thanking everyone she needed to, from her cast and crew to her family, Arquette decided to tackle a much more serious issue, drawing the attention of all the women in the room: “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.”

And Meryl Streep loved it.

5. Ida’s Pawel Pawlikowski, Best Foreign Language Film
From his first moment on stage, it was clear that Pawlikowski was going to give us a speech worth remembering: “Aw, God. How did I get here? We made a film about—as you saw, black and white—about the need for silence and withdrawal from the world and contemplation. And here we are at this epicenter of noise and world attention. Fantastic, you know, life is full of surprises.”

But Pawlikowski’s best moment wasn’t his beginning, but rather his end, when he refused to be played off, remaining on stage through the music and eventually winning out, giving himself enough time to thank his children and just generally, stick it to the Academy.

6. Still Alice’s Julianne Moore, Best Actress
The start of Moore’s speech seemed like it was about to become her “you really love me” moment, but she was able to express a similar level of joy without letting it take over her entire speech. After mentioning an article that claimed that winning an Oscar made you live five years longer, Moore thanked the Academy—mostly because her husband is younger than she is.

Moore then turned her focus to the continuing struggle with Alzheimer’s before thanking her family for giving her a home. Basically, her speech had a bit of everything.

7. The Theory of Everything’s Eddie Redmayne, Best Actor
Redmayne was already winning before he even got to the mic—freaking out with presenter Cate Blanchett. He then continued his winning streak by saying that his Oscar belongs to all the people around the world battling ALS. But with that in mind, he’s happy to be its custodian. And yes, he promises to polish it.

8. Birdman’s Alexandro G. Iñárritu, Best Picture
The Best Picture speech was a true group effort, but it was one full of just enough happiness and chaos. After Michael Keaton chimed in with a classic Michael Keaton sentiment—”It’s great to be here, who am I kidding?”—Iñárritu dedicated the award to his fellow Mexicans in Mexico, as well as the latest generation of immigrants in this country, hoping that they will be treated with the same dignity and respect as those before them who built our “incredible immigrant nation.”

We should also mention that presenter Sean Penn, who worked with Iñárritu in 21 Grams, made a weird green card joke just before giving the film the award.

9. ’s Alexandro G. Iñárritu, Best Director
Iñárritu’s second time on stage included the mention of Michael Keaton’s tighty whiteys—which he was wearing?—before he commented on how true art cannot be compared or labeled or defeated. According to Iñárritu, true art will only be judged by time. So take THAT, Academy.

10. The Phone Call’s Matt Kirkby and James Lucas, Best Live Action Short

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