In an effort to phase out dull and gushing acceptance speeches, this year’s Oscar nominees have been asked to submit a list of people they wish to thank in advance. If Leonardo DiCaprio wins on February 28, for example, his pre-ordained list of names will scroll across the screen like a ticker tape, leaving Leo to wax lyrical about whatever he fancies. It’s a smart move which should tighten up this year’s ceremony and help to avoid cringe-inducing moments like these clangers from Academy Awards past.
1. Sally Field confuses her Oscar win for a general personality endorsement
Everyone seems to think that Field shrieked, “You like me, you really like me!” as she collected her second Oscar in 1985. But in fact she said: “You like me, right now, you like me!” Either way, her over-emotional acceptance speech completely overshadowed her actual performance and the film she won the award for. Well, can you remember its name?
2. Tom Hanks accidentally “outs” his high school drama teacher
Hanks’ portrayal of a gay man dying from AIDS in 1993’s Philadelphia was heartbreaking, and it was gracious of him to thank “two of the finest gay Americans, two wonderful men that I had the good fortune to be associated with” in his acceptance speech. Unfortunately, while the actor’s high school classmate John Gilkerson was an out and proud gay man at the time, their former drama teacher Rawley Farnsworth wasn’t.
3. Cuba Gooding, Jr. just won’t shut up
Rather than taking the swelling sound of the orchestra as a cue to wrap things up pretty sharpish, the Jerry Maguire actor seemed to regard it as a challenge: how many more people can I thank, and how loudly and over-excitedly can I do it? He ended his bizarre gratitude mission with a backflip – yes, an actual backflip – which the camera sadly failed to capture.
4. Gwyneth Paltrow breaks down in tears
You’d never get this sort of display from Helen Mirren or Judi Dench, would you? Even Paltrow’s mother Blythe Danner, who can be seen watching from the audience, seems kind of horrified.
5. Anne Hathaway really over-eggs the pudding
Hathaway’s super-committed performance as malnourished French prostitute Fantine in Les Misérables made her a dead-cert for 2013’s Best Supporting Actress prize. The actress clearly knew it, because her much-mocked acceptance speech was a throbbing boil of over-rehearsed “shock”, ostentatious gratitude and hollow humility. “Here’s hoping someday in the not-too-distant future, the misfortunes of Fantine will be only found in fiction and not in real life,” Hathaway said at the end, apparently not realising that Fantine is a fictional character from a novel that was written in 1962.