In preparation for the 88th Academy Awards ceremony, relive some of the best acceptance speeches.

The Academy Awards are less than a week away and it is quite exciting. Soon the 121 nominees will be narrowed down to a mere 24 winners.

One of the best parts of the night is when the nominee becomes the winner and they have a chance to blow all of the viewers away with a huge, verbose speech before the orchestra plays them off. Yes, some of the acceptance speeches can be banal, but the ones that make the audience laugh, cry or cheer are the ones everyone remembers. In the last five years, there have been some amazing speeches, so relive those moments and watch some of the best Oscar speeches from the turn of the decade.

Pawel Pawlikowski, Foreign Language Film for Ida (2015) — You know how the orchestra starts playing when someone has been speaking for too long? Well, some people obviously get way more time than others, and Pawlikowski barely got a few sentences in before the music started playing. He decided that was not fair and spoke over the instruments. By far, it was one of the funniest moments from last year’s ceremony.

Graham Moore, Best Adapted Screenplay for The Imitation Game (2015) — He started his speech by thanking Oprah, who presented the award. What he said after that, though, is what got him recognition. He dedicated it to all of the people who feel "weird" and like they do not belong. He encouraged everyone to “stay weird, stay different.” What Moore said is something we can all relate to.

Patricia Arquette, Actress in a Supporting Role for Boyhood (2015) — Arquette started just by rambling off some names but finished in fanfare. She ended her speech by saying we need to fight for equal pay for women, which got a few people in the audience really excited, especially the movie goddess Meryl Streep. Streep was up on her feet cheering on Arquette, which is, hands down, the highlight of the speech.

Matthew McConaughey, Actor in a Leading Role for Dallas Buyers Club (2014) — This is, for real, the best acceptance speech of all time. How he prepared for this speech is unfathomable — and he didn’t even have a sheet of paper to look off of. This speech is perfect to listen to when you are having a tough time with something. It encourages you to become the best version of yourself — to reach your fullest potential.

Lupita Nyong’o, Actress in a Supporting Role for 12 Years A Slave (2014) — Nyong’o’s radiant beauty filled the stage when she accepted the award. She was so humble and thanked everyone she could think of but not by listing them — by giving us a glimpse into their character. She even thanked her brother, who was her date for the evening. She finished by dedicating it to all of the little children and saying “no matter where you come from, your dreams are valid.”

Daniel Day-Lewis, Actor in a Leading Role for Lincoln (2013) — Day-Lewis was the first person to win three Oscars in this category, but he did not make his speech about that. No, he kicked it off by saying he was actually chosen to play Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady and Meryl Streep, who presented the award, was to play Lincoln. He does not waver from this comedic style throughout the entire speech, which is why it is one of the best.

Ang Lee, Director for Life of Pi (2013) — Out of all the people to thank, Lee made sure to thank his lawyers — “especially for this movie.” He also made sure to praise the “movie god.” Lee was charming, and it was cute when he mentioned that he and his wife had been married for 30 years. Aw!

Meryl Streep, Actress in a Leading Role for The Iron Lady (2012) — Meryl Streep has been nominated for the most Oscars and for good reason. In 2012, she won for her role in The Iron Lady. She said this would probably be her last time she won an Oscar, which is completely absurd. She is bound to win another one at some point in her career.

Melissa Leo, Actress in a Supporting Role for The Fighter (2011) — Before accepting her award, Leo hit on Kirk Douglas, who presented the award, and he reciprocated the notions. And it only got better from there. She was speechless and in total awe by how many people were in the building. She was even bleeped during her speech. The moment was priceless.

Colin Firth, Actor in a Leading Role for The King's Speech (2011) — Firth said he was so happy that he might burst out into dance moves, which might be a joyous sight for him but not for everyone else. He joked throughout the entire speech in his very sarcastic and dry sense of humor. 

You can check out more Oscar acceptance speeches at the Academy Awards Acceptance Speech Database. 


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