Oscar Watch: The all-time worst acceptance speeches?

93845__gwyn_lA quick heads-up for Reese Witherspoon, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and other folks considered frontrunners in their respective categories going into Sunday night’s Academy Awards. You might want to check out My Village’s list of the all-time worst Oscar acceptance speeches, then avoid the past mistakes of such famous folk as Titanic director James Cameron, Vanessa Redgrave, and Greer Garson (who never scored another statuette after delivering a whopping seven-minute sermon). Better still, MSN has full transcripts of widely panned podium moments from Gwyneth Paltrow (pictured) and Tom Hanks. Of course, if you forget everything else once you hear your name called, try to stick to this one cardinal rule: Take it easy on the waterworks.

addCredit(“Gwyneth Paltrow: Eric Draper/AP”)


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  • Liza

    The only that made me cringe, and I will remember forever as being the worst was Halle Berry. She cried alot, her speach went on and on, she even thanked her lawyer.

  • Jakeem

    Actually, Halle’s acceptance speech is going to go down as one of the memorable ones because she correctly realized that she was carrying quite a historical load on her shoulders. She obviously never expected to win.
    To me, the worst was Michael Moore’s jab at President Bush at the start of the Iraqi War in 2003. It was simply the wrong place at the wrong time for such a tirade. Second place would go to Vanessa Redgrave for the “Zionist hoodlums” declaration. Third place would go to Marlon Brando for the Sacheen Littlefeather acceptance speech by proxy

  • jcoop

    i find almost every acceptance speech in the history of the oscars to be instantly forgettable. i wish they’d follow joe pesci’s example, just say thank you and exit.

  • dma69

    Brando’s was definitely the worst. If he didn’t want the Oscar, just don’t show up; don’t send a fake American Indian in your place. Very tacky.

  • pn

    I would like to thank EW.com for delivering one of the most useless inconsequential blog for today (sob sob). I would never have been here if it wasn’t for you. (crying)Reading some of those wonderful dearing talented acceptance speeches made my stomach turn up in knots and has given me this overwelming feeling of nausea and a hint of diarreahea. This award has given me a renewed sense of guilt and lonliness that i feel that I’m going to drive my car off a cliff after work before pulling out all my hair (wailing sobbing). And thanks to the academy for the 3.5 hours of my life on sunday that i will never get back again. I love everyone i ever met in my life (wait no i don’t). (Wiping the tears from my eyes). Thank You (performing a backflip or couchjumping then sending a kiss for the audience)
    Long live Dave Chappele

  • jon

    I would much rather see a spontaneous, genuine show of emotion than one of those cold, Marcia Gay Harden type speeches that begin with “What a surprise” in the same tone that she voice-overs Tollhouse cookies or whatever between movies.

  • Ep Sato

    I really dug Cuba Gooding’s speech a few years ago, even if it made me cringe to see him take the role of “Snow Dogs” next.
    So long as no one outs any of their high school teachers, I expect all the speeches to be pretty bad and pretty boring. When actors are without scripts, it’s better to have low standards.

  • Andy Hoglund

    That’s silly. Hanks’ teacher was not a closeted gay man. Paul Rudnick took the BASIC premise behind the speech and invented the twist that the teacher was closeted.

  • Tom

    How about Cher forgetting to thank Norman Jewison or fellow cast members for Moonstruck?
    Julia Robert’s inflated ego moment win for Erin Brokovich (only to return said ego the next year when she revealed to us all – without prompting from any of us – that “I love my life”, thus taking away Denzel Washington’s spotlight when he won for “Training Day”).
    “King of the World” by James Cameron when he won for Titanic. Tacky.
    Sally Field’s win for Places in the Heart – it wasn’t simply the “You like me factor” that made this so cringe-worthy it was when she stated “I didn’t feel it the first time” – exactly how many Oscars do you need to win to feel liked? Talk about a complex.

  • Roxanne

    Personally I love it when the celebs get up and make fools of themselves during award ceremonies. The egos, the complexes, the neuroses all come out.

  • chardonna

    i could have gone to my grave without ever remembering what gwyneth or tom said in their oscar speeches if it weren’t for this corny article. that’s how much it matters in the grand scheme of things. so what?

  • Jakeem

    In all fairness to Gwyneth Paltrow, wasn’t she upset because some of her family members were ill at the time? Burdens like those are enough to make anybody emotional!

  • Mike in Moncton

    Good grief, someone’s got WAY too much time on their hands.

  • Jake

    THANK YOU ANDY HOGLUND! I appreciate the fact that you’re helping to quash the rumor that’s been floating around all over the internet about Tom Hanks’ supposedly closeted gay teacher. I read in People magazine an interview with that teacher how Tom ASKED HIM FIRST! C’mon people, get the facts straight!

  • Fatima

    Wow Finally an internet “Worst of” list that gets it right and doesn’t try to be meaner than it has to.

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