Entertainment

The Greatest Oscar Acceptance Speeches of All Time 

Ranker Film
2k votes 786 voters 26.5k views 33 items

List Rules Vote up the Oscar speeches that made sitting through all the host's banter worth it.

One of the best parts of the Oscars broadcast each year is the moving and heartfelt acceptance speeches. The Academy Awards are the highest honor a director, actor, or person in the world of film can win. As a result, some of the best Oscar speeches are memorable for the winner's nerves, excitement, and enthusiasm. Which Oscar-winning stars have given the best acceptance speeches?

Especially with the advent of YouTube and social media, Academy Award speeches (and those from just about any awards show) are replayed and enjoyed (or scrutinized) even long after the telecast has aired. But not all Oscar speeches are created equal. Far from it. Winners react with everything from pure excitement (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) to an outpouring of emotion (Halle Berry) to being completely overwhelmed (Jennifer Lawrence).

These are the best Academy Award Speeches of all time! Vote up the speeches you find the most moving, and get ready to feel all the feels.
Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

Year: 1995
Film: Forrest Gump
Award: Best Actor in a Leading Role

Tom Hanks is the embodiment of charm. When he thanks you, he means it - really, truly means it. He thanks everyone and you as the viewer feel thanked and loved. Powerful words, powerfully delivered.

Credits (Film): Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, Toy Story, Toy Story 3, Toy Story 2, + more

Birthplace: Concord, California

Nationality: United States of America

Was this the best?

More Tom Hanks 

#1 of 275 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #1 of 1,149 The Best Actors in Film Historyfeaturing Times Tom Hanks Was Just as Cool as You Hope He'd Be

Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

Year: 2014
Film: Dallas Buyers Club
Award: Best Actor in a Leading Role

McConaughey manages to hit all of the standard notes in the beginning of his speech, thanking the Academy, his team, his costars, and the other acceptance speech regulars. He then elaborates on his life and his path, in pure poetic McConaughey style.

Credits (Film): Dazed and Confused, The Wolf of Wall Street, Tropic Thunder, Interstellar, A Time to Kill, + more

Birthplace: Uvalde, Texas, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

Was this the best?

More Matthew McConaughey 

#23 of 282 The Best (Male) Actors Working Today #92 of 1,149 The Best Actors in Film Historyfeaturing The 20+ Best Matthew McConaughey Movies of All Time

Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

When Olivia Colman won Best Actress over Glenn Close (who was the frontrunner for her role in The Wife) during the 91st Academy Awards, she gave one of the most memorable speeches of the evening. In her emotional, impromptu-feeling speech, Colman thanked her fellow nominees, apologized to Close for winning, pointed out when her husband was crying in the audience, and recalled her time as a cleaner when she "did spend quite a lot of my time imagining this." Her earnest speech quickly won the internet

Credits (Film): Hot Fuzz, The Iron Lady, Locke, Terkel in Trouble, Cuban Fury, + more

Birthplace: Norwich, United Kingdom

Nationality: United Kingdom, England

Was this the best?
Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

Year: 2020

Film: Parasite

Award: Best Director

Bong Joon-ho humbly accepts his award and offers to split his Oscar with all the other nominees.

Credits (Film): The Host, Snowpiercer, Memories of Murder, Mother, Tokyo!, + more

Birthplace: Daegu, South Korea

Nationality: South Korea

Was this the best?

More Bong Joon-ho 

#438 of 783 The Greatest Directors In Movie History #60 of 65 The Best Directors Never Nominated for Oscarsfeaturing The Best Bong Joon Ho Movies