Say it right

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MOVIES - By BARRY KOLTNOW

if Os­car ac­cep­tance speeches are noth­ing but a dis­play of bo­gus hu­mil­ity, then al­ter­na­tives are in or­der ... just to raise some eye­brows, at least.

NAME the 10 most mem­o­rable Os­car ac­cep­tances speeches ever given, not in­clud­ing Sally Field’s iconic “You like me” speech. I sus­pect that your Top 10 list has fallen about 10 speeches short.

Oh, you re­mem­ber a few in­ci­dents sur­round­ing Os­car speeches, like that cute Ital­ian guy leap­ing over the backs of the seats to get to the stage, or Adrien Brody plant­ing a wet one on Halle Berry, but not the speeches them­selves.

It’s not your fault. These speeches sim­ply are not mem­o­rable, even though the win­ners have been prac­tis­ing in front of a mir­ror since they were eight years old.

But there is a big dif­fer­ence be­tween giv­ing a speech in front of an ap­pre­cia­tive au­di­ence of one, and giv­ing a speech in front of an in­dif­fer­ent au­di­ence of mil­lions.

When the big mo­ment comes, nerves and ex­cite­ment over­take all the prac­tice, and the win­ners dis­solve into a gooey mess. Those who man­age to main­tain their cool are smart enough to avoid the pit­falls that come with ex­ces­sive ego or vin­dic­tive­ness.

Just once, we’d like to hear an Os­car ac­cep­tance speech that goes some­thing like this:

“I would like to thank the academy, but not all the academy.

“There are mem­bers of the Academy of Mo­tion Picture Arts and Sci­ences I re­ally want to thank. They are the peo­ple who voted for me. The rest of you can drop dead.

“Where were you when I re­ally needed the sup­port? Where were you when I was a young ac­tor be­ing re­jected at au­di­tions ev­ery day and work­ing as a waiter at nights un­til I couldn’t stand any­more? I was sleep­ing on my buddy’s sofa, and sneak­ing into buf­fets with friends and eat­ing off their plates. I had to go to au­di­tions in the same clothes I wore the day be­fore be­cause I didn’t have ex­tra out­fits, and couldn’t af­ford dry clean­ing.

“Which brings me to the world-fa­mous fash­ion de­sign­ers who have dressed me tonight. I would like to thank you for send­ing free clothes to my home, but I could re­ally have used the free clothes when I was broke. I am mak­ing plenty of money now, and I don’t need your stupid clothes, but I’m told that I have to wear the clothes or Joan Rivers will rip me to shreds be­fore I’m off the red car­pet.

“I want to thank my man­ager for stick­ing with me through the lean times, but my big-shot agent only signed me af­ter a small film I did made a big splash at Sun­dance. Be­fore that, he wouldn’t even re­turn my phone calls. Now, he would take a bul­let for me. I wish he would.

“At this point in my ac­cep­tance speech, I’m sup­posed to thank the stu­dio that made this movie. It’s the smart way to go be­cause you never want to in­sult a big stu­dio. But this is the same stu­dio that passed on me for 20 other roles. They told my agent I wasn’t right for the part, which means I wasn’t at­trac­tive enough, or tall enough or short enough or thin enough or fat enough.

“Just be­cause con­ven­tional wis­dom says that re­jec­tion is part of this busi­ness doesn’t mean we have to like it. No­body likes to be re­jected, and just be­cause there is a thin prom­ise of fame and riches at the rain­bow’s end, doesn’t mean we have to put up with this abuse. Most ac­tors aren’t rich or fa­mous, and never will be, and so I see no rea­son why we can’t be treated with some dig­nity.

“I’m also sup­posed to thank the di­rec­tor of this movie be­cause film is a di­rec­tor’s medium, and it isn’t smart to in­sult di­rec­tors. Well, this is the same di­rec­tor who reg­u­larly se­duces his lead­ing ladies, and ev­ery­body knows it. In an­other pro­fes­sion, he would be called a preda­tor.

“I want to thank my fel­low nom­i­nees. Win­ners never had to thank their fel­low nom­i­nees. It was un­der­stood that the win­ner got ev­ery­thing, and the losers got shown los­ing on na­tional tele­vi­sion. That’s how the game was played, but now it is po­lit­i­cally cor­rect to not only ac­knowl­edge your fel­low nom­i­nees, but say how hon­oured you are just to be in their com­pany.

“And, of course, I have to thank the other ac­tors in my movie, even though some of them came to the set late ev­ery day be­cause they were out drink­ing all night.

“I would thank the writ­ers but it’s cus­tom­ary to pre­tend that the words mag­i­cally ap­pear on the page, or that the di­rec­tor wrote the movie, so who am I to buck tra­di­tion?

“Fi­nally, I want to thank the fans. I would be noth­ing with­out the fans. That’s what I was told to say, and I sup­pose there is some truth to that. But these are the same fans who ig­nored my movie when it came out, and went in­stead to see a movie star­ring Ni­co­las Cage as a flam­ing head.” – The Orange County Reg­is­ter/ Mc­clatchy-tri­bune In­for­ma­tion Ser­vices n Catch the 84th An­nual Academy Awards live on Fox Movies Pre­mium (Astro Ch 413) and Fox Movies Pre­mium HD (Astro Ch 433) at 9am, with a re­peat at 9.30pm.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.