Natalie Portman and Colin Firth seem to be locks when it comes to winning Oscars in the Best Actress and Best Actor categories this year, which means that they better start getting their acceptance speeches ready. However, before they start making lists of who to thank, they might want to take notes on what not to do from the actors and actresses who have delivered the worst Oscar acceptance speeches of all time.
Take director James Cameron, for example. While accepting his Best Director award at the 1997 Oscars, Cameron first referred to his parents as his “original producers” after thanking the other “Titanic” producers. But it that zinger wasn’t bad enough, he just couldn’t resist throwing out his arms and shouting the memorable “Titanic” line “I’m the king of the world!” followed with a few wacky “whoop whoops.” Hopefully Colin Firth takes note that repeating lines from movies does not make a good acceptance speech; after all, pretending to have a speech impediment like his “The King’s Speech” character during his acceptance speech might not go over too well with viewers.
But since his movie is about the emotional journey of a man doing his best to improve his speech to give moving speeches, there’s a lot of pressure on Firth to come up with something memorable. However, he surely won’t want to be remembered the way Sally Field is remembered for her oft-parodied 1985 Best Actress acceptance speech for her role in “Places in the Heart.” Her line “I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!” has been mis-uttered many times since, unfortunately making her annoying self-congratulations one of the most memorable (and disliked) Oscar acceptance speeches of all time.
And perhaps Natalie Portman needs to watch Gwyneth Paltrow’s 1999 Best Actress acceptance speech for “Shakespeare in Love.” Sure, she is pregnant and her hormones are going crazy, but she surely doesn’t want her first Oscar acceptance speech to go down in history because of an excessive amount of blubbering. Paltrow just couldn’t turn the waterworks off during her overly long speech, punctuated with plenty of breathy gasps.
So as Natalie Portman and Colin Firth prepare their acceptance speeches, perhaps they shouldn’t worry too much with being witty, inspirational, or emotional. It seems that the worst Oscar speeches are the most memorable, so it might be best to simply bore the audience with a long list of people to thank before getting played off the stage. This way, at least they will only be remembered for their wins and not for having some of the worst acceptances speeches of all time.
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