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17 Inspirational Quotes From Historic Oscar Speeches
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17 Inspirational Quotes From Historic Oscar Speeches

Picture of Remy Millar
Updated: 23 February 2017
The most prestigious awards in the entertainment industry are coming to a small screen near your this Sunday 26th February. Hotly anticipated after months of speculating about who will win and who will be snubbed is the acceptance speeches. Sometimes clumsy, often heartfelt and occasionally political, Culture Trip has rounded up the 17 most inspirational quotes from speeches since the Academy Awards began in 1929.

Michael Giacchino, Best Original Music Score, Oscars 2010

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‘I was nine and I asked my dad, “Can I have your movie camera? That old, wind-up 8mm camera that was in your drawer?” And he goes, “Sure, take it.” And I took it and I started making movies with it and I started being as creative as I could, and never once in my life did my parents ever say, “What you’re doing is a waste of time.” Never. And I grew up, I had teachers, I had colleagues, I had people that I worked with all through my life who always told me what you’re doing is not a waste of time. So that was normal to me that it was okay to do that. I know there are kids out there that don’t have that support system, so if you’re out there and you’re listening, listen to me: If you want to be creative, get out there and do it; it’s not a waste of time. Do it. Okay?’

Ben Affleck, Best Picture, Argo, Oscars 2013

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‘You can’t hold grudges. It’s hard but you can’t hold grudges. And it doesn’t matter how you get knocked down in life because that’s going to happen. All that matters is you gotta get up.’

Lupita Nyong’o, Best Supporting Actress, 12 Years A Slave, Oscars 2014

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‘When I’m being true to myself, I can avail myself to extraordinary things such as this. You have to allow for the impossible to be possible.’

Hilary Swank, Best Actress, Million Dollar Baby, 2004

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‘I’m just a girl from a trailer park who had a dream. I never thought this would ever happen.’

James Cameron, Best Director, Titanic, 1997

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‘There is no way that I can express to you what I’m feeling right now, my heart is full to bursting, except to say, I’m the king of the world!’

Shirley MacLaine, Best Actress, Terms of Endearment, 1984

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‘When you trust your own insides, and that becomes achievement, it’s a kind of a principle that seems to me is at work with everyone. God bless that principle. God bless that potential that we all have for making anything possible if we think we deserve it. I deserve this. Thank you.’

Clint Eastwood, Best Director, Million Dollar Baby, 2004

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‘There are a lot of great movies that have won the Academy Award, and a lot of great movies that haven’t. You just do the best you can.’

Halle Berry, Best Actress, Monster’s Ball, Oscars 2002

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‘This moment is so much bigger than me. This moment is for Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne, Diahann Carroll. It’s for the women that stand beside me, Jada Pinkett, Angela Bassett, Vivica Fox. And it’s for every nameless, faceless woman of color that now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened. Thank you. I’m so honored. I’m so honored. And I thank the Academy for choosing me to be the vessel for which His blessing might flow.’

Shirley MacLaine, Best Actress, Terms of Endearment, 1984

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‘Films and life are like clay, waiting for us to mould it.’

Marketa Irglova, Best Original Song, Once, Oscars 2008

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‘No matter how far out your dreams are, it’s possible. Fair play to those who dare to dream and don’t give up. This song was written from a perspective of hope, and hope at the end of the day connects us all, no matter how different we are.’

Lupita Nyong’o, Best Supporting Actress, 12 Years A Slave, Oscars 2014

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‘When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid. Thank you.’

Pedro Almodovar, Best Foreign Film, All About My Mother, Oscars 2000

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‘Right now I don’t know if I have dreamt about this or not. But when you are in the ocean you must swim. Being on the race for the Oscars, logically I want to win. ‘

Al Pacino, Best Actor, Scent of a Woman, Oscars 1992

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‘A young girl came up to me … and she said that I had encouraged her. And I just can’t forget that girl and I can’t forget the kids out there who may be thinking tonight that if he can do it, I can do it. So this is really a proud and hopeful moment for me because I want to thank the Academy for giving us a gift of encouragement and this is a gift, a great gift to me.’

Graham Moore, Best Adapted Screenplay, The Imitation Game, Oscars 2015

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‘When I was 16 years old, I tried to kill myself because I felt weird and I felt different and I felt like I did not belong. And now I’m standing here, so I would like this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she’s weird or she’s different or she doesn’t fit in anywhere. Yes, you do. I promise you do. You do. Stay weird. Stay different. And then when it’s your turn and you are standing on this stage, please pass the same message to the next person who comes along. Thank you so much.’

Tom Hanks, Actor in a Leading Role, Philadelphia, Oscars 1993

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‘I know that my work in this case is magnified by the fact that the streets of heaven are too crowded with angels. We know their names. They number a thousand for each one of the red ribbons that we wear here tonight. They finally rest in the warm embrace of the gracious creator of us all, a healing embrace that cools their fevers, that clears their skin, and allows their eyes to see the simple, self-evident common sense truth that is made manifest by the benevolent creator of us all.’

Elizabeth Taylor, Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, 1992

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‘Tonight I am asking for your help. I call upon you to draw from the depths of your being to prove that we are a human race. To prove that our love outweighs our need to hate. That our compassion is more compelling than our need to blame. That our sensitivity to those in need is stronger than our greed. That our ability to reason overcomes our fear. And that at the end of each of our lives, we can look back and be proud that we have treated others with the kindness, dignity and respect that every human being deserves.’

Leonardo DiCaprio, Best Actor, The Revenant, 2016

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‘Making The Revenant was about man’s relationship to the natural world. A world that we collectively felt in 2015 as the hottest year in recorded history. Our production needed to move to the southern tip of this planet just to be able to find snow. Climate change is real, it is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating. We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters, but who speak for all of humanity, for the indigenous people of the world, for the billions and billions of underprivileged people out there who would be most affected by this. For our children’s children, and for those people out there whose voices have been drowned out by the politics of greed. I thank you all for this amazing award tonight. Let us not take this planet for granted. I do not take tonight for granted. Thank you so very much.’