I Love YouTube: 'Oscar Moments' (Acceptance Speeches)
I love watching the Academy Awards, regardless of how hokey and self-congratulatory they might be, because I love movies and I, too, have opinions about which ones are good and which ones are crap. But I mostly love watching the Academy Awards because I'm totally fascinated by overblown, seemingly culturally significant live televised events of any kind, let alone ones with so many internationally famous movie stars in attendance. The Oscar ceremony is broadcast live for 4 straight hours, featuring attractive babes applauding attractive dudes as they rush to the stage to receive the 'highest honour' in their field. Usually, being put on the spot like that brings out the predictable tears and the endless thanking of agents or family members, but occasionally, the results can be unexpectedly funny or downright bizarre (did I mention that it's live?). As a result, the select spontaneous outbursts of a Cuba Gooding Jr. or a Sally Field stop being regular moments and become 'Oscar Moments', forever going down in Oscar history as that funny thing that happened that one time. And thanks to YouTube, you won't have to sit through 4 hours of dance routines and tribute montages to bear witness...
Marlon Brando - 1973 This legendary force of nature not only starred in a handful of the most important films ever made, but throughout his life he was also quite outspoken about civil rights issues - he even marched on Washington. As one of film history's greatest actors of all time it should come as no surprise that he won an Oscar for his role in The Godfather (duh). But it's the brash opportunist in him that saw a chance to reach millions with an activist's message. So he sent Sacheen Littlefeather in his place to straight up dis the Academy and refuse the award, creating an old-school textbook 'Oscar Moment'
Jack Palance - 1991 You've seen this before. You'll probably see this clip in all Oscar montages from now until nuclear bombs pulverize every last memory of the Oscars out of existence. This 'Oscar Moment' contains rare footage of a senior citizen doing the unTHINKable and it's not even a special effect or anything, it's a real-life, 10' tall, 1000 yr-old old man with inhuman strength and something to prove, I guess?. You know, I'd never actually watched this clip in its entirety before, as they usually just cut right to the chase. I think my impression of what happened seems way cooler than the actual set-up and execution, seen here in all its awkward glory. I guess I have to give him props for finally getting an award at all, making sure he's remembered for more than being the guy from the Ripley's Believe it or Not.
Matt Damon & Ben Affleck - 1998 Back in the late 90s when these two guys were like, 12, they burst onto the Hollywood scene as a couple-a spunky kids with dreams in their hearts and a little script they wrote called Good Will Hunting tucked under their arms. As surprising as it was that they were even nominated for an Oscar, nobody ever expected their script to win, least of all them - which is why I can't help but smile as I watch this 'Oscar Moment'. It makes me feel like a proud dad, like watching my boys graduate from high school. They may not have made all the right career moves since then, but it's nice to see footage of them so fresh-faced, optimistic and so gosh-darned grateful. The tall one especially, since he has basically been phoning it in ever since. Ooh, burn!
Roberto Benigni - 1999 Part deeply sincere outpouring of emotion and part tongue-in-cheek parody of overly-gushy award winners, Roberto Benigni's speech was the high point of the way-too-long Academy Award broadcast in 1999. An animated Italian director jumps around the auditorium like-a leetle mahn-kee, eventually bringing the entire audience to their feet in a standing ovation in this, my personal favourite 'Oscar Moment' of all time. The best part is that even with a best foreign film Oscar in the bag he still beat out Nick Notle, Ian McKellan, Tom Hanks, and Ed Norton for best actor. How random is that?
Will Ferrell & Jack Black - 2004 In an effort to eliminate long, overwrought acceptance speech gush-fests during the Oscar telecast, this year the organizers are allowing recipients only 45 seconds of time to get all their thank-yous in. If they go over? Cue the dreaded wrap-it-up music which is basically designed to make you feel like a big loser who talks to much. In this clip the telecast producers kicked off a great tradition of having Will Ferrell and friends break up the monotany of the 4 hour broadcast with funny bits, and they did it with this funny little song about keeping your 'Oscar Moment' short and sweet.
Stay tuned for more awesome Oscar crap coming your way over the next week and a half, including Oscar Picks by Mike The Greek and some more I Love YouTube: 'Oscar Moments'!!!