Monday, February 27, 2012

Academy Award winners' speeches

Last night's Oscar ceremony was enjoyable enough with some memorable moments, a terrific performance by the Cirque du Soleil and some excellent speeches for the most part. The standouts were Asghar Farhadi's sober acknowledgement of hawkish talk concerning Iran that spoke of respect for cultures; Christopher Plummer's masterful and delightful soliloquy; and Meryl Streep's self-effacing and genuine tribute to her husband Don, makeup artist (and fellow Oscar-winner) Roy Helland and to her colleagues throughout her career.

Here are some of the highlights from the evening's acceptance speeches.

Art Direction
Francesca Lo Schiavo: This is for Martin and for Italy!

Costume Design
The Artist
Mark Bridges: You know, I was just a kid from Niagara Falls who dreamed, ate, and slept movies and so I want to thank the Academy for this honor and for making a lifelong dream come true.

The Iron Lady
J. Roy Helland: Thanks Meryl, for keeping me employed for the last 37 years. Your brilliance makes my work look good no matter what. I’m a child of the Saturday and Sunday double-double features so getting to work in the movies is a dream come true. Thank you.

Foreign Language Film
A Separation
Asghar Farhadi: I would like to thank the Academy and Sony Pictures Classics and my dear friends Michael Barker and Tom Bernard. [speaks in Farsi] At this time many Iranians all over the world are watching us and I imagine them to be very happy. They are happy not just because of an important award or a film or a filmmaker, but because at the time when talk of war, intimidation, and aggression is exchanged between politicians the name of their country, Iran, is spoken here through her glorious culture, a rich and ancient culture that has been hidden under the heavy dust of politics. I proudly offer this award to the people of my country, the people who respect all cultures and civilizations and despise hostility and resentment. Thank you so much.

Best Supporting Actress
The Help
Octavia Spencer: Thank you Academy for putting me with the hottest guy in the room. I have to thank my families, my family in Alabama, the state of Alabama; my L.A. family watching at Steven's or at Gada; my Help family, Tate, Brunson, Kathryn, Allison Janney, thank you for being in my life. I share this with everybody. Thank you Steven Spielberg for changing my life, thank you Stacey Snider for changing my life. "Please wrap up" – I'm wrapping up. I'm sorry, I'm freakin' out. Thank you world! Oh God, and thank you to WME, and Viewpoint L.A. I'm sorry guys, thank you, I love you.

Film Editing
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Kirk Baxter: We weren’t expecting this.
Angus: No
Kirk Baxter: I’d like to thank the Academy.
Angus Wall: We’re missing some very important people up here with us: primarily David, who’s not here tonight, but Céan and Steven Zaillian and Scott Rudin.
Kirk Baxter: There’s the Roons [Points at Rooney Mara] Miss the black tonight.
Angus Wall: All the cast, and...God this is unbelievable.
Kirk Baxter: Let’s get out of here.
Angus Wall: We’re editors so thank you.

Sound Editing
Philip Stockton: I just want to thank everybody who’s here tonight and everybody who isn’t and everybody who’s ever been born or may be born or be born again or reborn. If I’ve forgotten anybody then you probably know who you are.

Documentary (Feature)
Dan Lindsay: This is ridiculous. Wow, okay, we want to thank the Academy for this honor. A year ago today we were sitting in our editing room, depressed thinking nobody was ever going to see this movie and a friend said, “don’t worry, next year you’ll be at the Oscars” and we said, “you’re an idiot.” So we’d like to take this opportunity to apologize to him and say you’re a lot smarter than we thought. We want to share this award with our fellow producers Ed Cunningham, Glen Zipper, and Seth Gordon. If they didn’t believe in us, we would not be standing here today. Thank you so much.
TJ Martin: We would also like to acknowledge our fellow nominees. They have inspired us in so many ways. They should be up here with us, actually that would be [expletive deleted: "fucking awesome"].
Dan Lindsay: Documentary!

Animated Feature Film
Gore Verbinski: Someone asked me if this film was for kids and, I don’t know, but it was certainly created by a bunch of grownups acting like children and we just had the best time. I want to thank the real-world chameleon, Mr. Johnny Depp, and the entire cast for coming out and playing.

Supporting Actor
Christopher Plummer: [holding his statuette] You’re only two years older than me darling, where have you been all my life? I have a confession to make, when I first emerged from my mother’s womb, I was already rehearsing my Academy thank you speech. But it was so long ago, mercifully for you, I’ve forgotten it. But I haven’t forgotten who to thank. The Academy, of course, for this extraordinary honor and my fellow nominees: Kenneth, Nick, Jonah, dear Max, I’m so proud to be in your company. And of course I wouldn’t be here at all if it weren’t for Michael Mills and his enchanting film, “Beginners,” and my screen partner of course, Ewan McGregor, that superb artist, who I would happily share this award with if I had any decency, but I don’t. To all the producers, at Olympus Films especially, Leslie Urdang and Miranda de Pencier. All the people at Focus for their tremendous generosity and support, and not to mention my, haha, little band of agents provocateurs: Lou Pitt and his wife Berta, Carter Cohn, Pippa Markham, Perry Zimel, who’ve tried so hard to keep me out of jail, my daughter Amanda who always makes me proud and lastly, my long-suffering wife, Elaine, who deserves the Nobel Peace Prize for coming to my rescue every day of my life. Thank you so much.

Music (Original Score)
The Artist
Ludovic Bource: Wow, I want to pay, first of all, a tribute for the power of the music and I want to thank you and pay tribute to my co-nominees Mr. Williams, Mr. Shore, and Mr. Iglesias. And Hans Zimmer is downstairs, he refused to submit to this year’s, so I thank you for your chair Hans Zimmer ... And to all of you, please accept me because I’ve got so much love to give. I’ve got so much love to give to you, my wife Sara is there.

Music (Original song)
"Man or Muppet" – The Muppets
Bret McKenzie: Wow, thank you Academy. I grew up in New Zealand watching “The Muppets” on TV. I never dreamed I’d get to work with them. And I was genuinely starstruck when I finally met Kermit the Frog. But once you get to know him, he’s just a normal frog. And like many stars here tonight, he’s a lot shorter in real life.

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
The Descendants
Alexander Payne: We bow to our fellow nominees ... We want to thank Fox Searchlight and producer Jim Burke for all their good works. We share this with George Clooney and the rest of the cast for interpreting our screenplay so generously. And we also share it in particular with Kaui Hart Hemmings, our beautiful Hawaiian flower for her novel. And on a brief personal note, if I may, my mother is here with me from Omaha and, hold the applause, and after watching the show a few years ago she made me promise that if I ever won another Oscar, I had to dedicate it to her just like Javier Bardem did with his mother. So Mom, this one’s for you. Σ'Αγαπώ Πολύ! (Greek: I love you very much!) And thanks for letting me skip nursery school so we could go to the movies. Thanks a lot.

Live Action Short Film
The Shore
Terry George: Our little film was inspired by the people of Northern Ireland, Protestant and Catholic, who after 30 years of war, sat down, negotiated a peace, and proved to the world that the Irish are great talkers. I want to dedicate this to them. And thank you again. Thank you very much.

Documentary (Short Subject)
Saving Face
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy: Daniel and I want to dedicate this award to all the heroes working on the ground in Pakistan including Dr. Mohammad Jawad who’s here with us today, the plastic surgeon working on rehabilitating all these women, Rukhsana and Zakia who are our main subjects of the film whose resilience and bravery in the face of such adversity is admirable, and to all the women in Pakistan who are working for change, don’t give up on your dreams. This is for you.

The Artist
Michel Hazanavicius: Yes, thank you. Thank you very much. I have an Oscar. I forgot my speech. Okay, I am the happiest director in the world right now. Thank you for that. Thank you the Academy, thank you all of you. I want to thank my beloved producer Thomas Langmann. Thank you. I want to thank The Harvey Weinstein Company. I want to thank the cast, Jean, Bérénice, you know, thank you. James Cromwell, John Goodman, Missi Pyle, Penelope, all of you, Malcolm McDowell. Thank you very much. I want to thank all the crew. I want to thank Uggie, the dog, I think he doesn’t care. I’m not sure he understand what I say, he’s not that good, but thank you.

Best Actor
The Artist
Jean Dujardin: Thank you. Oui! I love your country. Thank you to the Academy. It’s funny because in 1929 it wasn’t Billy Crystal, but Douglas Fairbanks who hosted the first Oscar ceremony. Tickets cost five dollars and it lasted 15 minutes. Times have changed. So thank you Douglas Fairbanks. Yes Melissa, your grandfather’s spirit and joie de vivre inspired me for this role. And so many of you here tonight have inspired me. Thank you Michel, thank you for this incredible gift. Thank you my wonderful partner Bérénice Bejo. Thank you the wonderful cast and crew. My wife, I love you. Kisses Simon, Jules, Chloe. And if George Valentin could speak, he’d say "Ouah, putain, génial, merci!" Merci beaucoup. I love you.

Lead Actress
The Iron Lady
Meryl Streep: Oh my god. Oh c’mon. Alright. Thank you so much. Thank you, thank you. When they called my name I’d had this feeling I could hear half of America going “oh no...oh c’mon...why...her...again?” But whatever. First I’m going to thank Don because when you thank your husband at the end of the speech they play him out with the music and I want him to know that everything I value most in our lives you’ve given me. And now secondly, my other partner: 37 years ago, my first play in New York City I met the great hairstylist and makeup artist Roy Helland and we worked together pretty continuously since the day we clapped eyes on each other. His first film with me was “Sophie’s Choice” and all the way up to tonight when he won for his beautiful work in “The Iron Lady,” 30 years later, every single movie in between. And I just want to thank Roy but also I want to thank – because I really understand I’ll never be up here again – I really want to thank all my colleagues, all my friends, I look out here and I see my life before my eyes, my old friends, my new friends and really this is such a great honor but the thing that counts the most with me is the friendships and the love and the sheer joy we have shared making movies together. My friends, thank you, all of you, departed and here for this inexplicably wonderful career. Thank you so much.

Best Picture
The Artist
Thomas Langmann: I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. To you members of the Academy, to you Harvey, not only because we received tonight the award that any filmmaker would ever dream to receive, but because you’re offering me tonight the opportunity to pay tribute to a member of this Academy that I miss so much, the Oscar winner Claude Berri. And he directed movies like “The Two of Us,” “Jean de Florette” and produced and worked with directors such as Francis Ford Coppola, Milos Forman, Pedro Almodovar, Roman Polanski. And I always thought and remember, will I ever one day be able to work with such director? Director that could stand in front of these example. And tonight I know I do because I am the producer of Michel Hazanavicius. And I am glad to be his producer.
Michel Hazanavicius: Okay thank you. I’d like to say very, very important things. I want to say hi to my kids and it’s six in the morning in Paris so you should go to bed in thirty seconds. I want to say to my wife, Bérénice Bejo, who’s here that I love you, but it’s not just that, it’s about the movie. You inspired the movie and you’re the soul of the movie and the positive feeling of the movie. Thank you for being this in the movie and in my life. And I want to thank three person: I want to thank Billy Wilder. I want to thank Billy Wilder. And I want to thank Billy Wilder. Thank you very much.


  1. Why no Octavia Spencer??

  2. I wanted to include her but for some reason the Oscar press material didn't include her speech and I haven't found any other transcription. Unfortunately, I didn't record it myself either. I'll try to include it if and when I find it.

  3. Hope this helps.

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