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The Greatest Oscar Acceptance Speeches of All Time

Updated February 10, 2020 2.6k votes 926 voters 28.7k views33 items

List RulesVote 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.
  • 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.
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    • 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

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      • 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.

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        • Video: YouTube

          Year: 1997
          Film: Jerry Maguire
          Award: Best Actor in a Supporting Role

          If you won an Oscar you might be a little too excited also. Gooding went there and managed to handle it beautifully. He doesn't really start his speech in full force until the music plays, then instead of letting it play him off he uses it as a score to underline his love for everyone. Then there's dancing!
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