Like most years, the Oscars 2014 had its share of funny or amusing moments (Ellen DeGeneres ordering pizza, Jennifer Lawrence eating pizza, the group selfie) as well as its sweepingly or quietly emotional moments (the musical numbers, the hero montages and as usual the “In Memoriam”). Of course, every year also has its share of excellent speeches and here were my personal favorites from this year (of the ones that I saw, that is, as I missed a few).
5. Alfonso Cuarón, Best Directing (Gravity)
Not a spectacular speech but very sincere one with a couple of genuinely funny moments (like when he thanks the “Wise Guys…er, the wise people of Warner Bros.”). Breaking into Spanish at the end was a nice touch too. Besides, it was just great seeing one of my favorite contemporary directors take an Oscar for my favorite film of 2013 (not that I saw many movies last year, to be honest).
4. Morgan Neville / Gil Friesen / Caitrin Rogers, Best Documentary Feature (20 Feet From Stardom)
While she technically wasn’t the actual recipient of the award for Best Documentary, Darlene Love, one of the subjects of the film, ended the acceptance speech by breaking into song and it was glorious. Bill Murray was obviously impressed. Honorable mention for weaving song into speech goes to Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez during their acceptance speech when they won for Best Original Song, “Let it Go.”
3. Cate Blanchett, Best Actress (Blue Jasmine)
A bit long but nevertheless eloquent, Cate Blanchett somehow managed to fit everything into her speech: humor (“Sit down, you’re too old to be standing!”), thanking all the right people and a sincere plea to the industry to realize the sufficient money-making potential of films driven by female leads.
2. Lupita Nyong’o, Best Supporting Actress (12 Years a Slave)
An emotional and moving speech that contains perhaps my single favorite line uttered during the show: “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.” This would have been my top favorite if not for a certain something that the next guy talks about.
1. Matthew McConaughey, Best Actor (Dallas Buyers Club)
This one kind of got off to a dull start so I didn’t expect to be as affected by it as I eventually was, but it starts becoming awesome when he talks about the three things that he needs: something to look up to, something to look forward to and something to chase (as in aspire to). When he starts talking about his future self as a hero to endlessly aspire to…boom, that was it. That was the Pop Mythology ethos talking right there. All right all right all right.
(Co-star and fellow Oscar winner Jared Leto also gave a quite good speech in which he devoted most of the time telling a touching story about his mom.)