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Oscar Speeches: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

The 87th Oscars happened a week ago and there were plenty of speeches that brought up important points—some good, some not so much.  Let’s just start with the most obvious and sadly worst, Patricia Arquette, who won for Best Supporting Actress for Boyhood. She was quick to discuss equal pay for all women but it sort of backfired when she headed backstage.

She stated during her speech,

Awesome. Truthfully we didn’t need that taxpayer bit but any point bringing up equality, I’m down for. Sadly it didn’t stay as awesome as she headed backstage and spoke about her speech, to which she followed up with,

“…It’s time for all the women in America, and all the men that love women and all the gay people and all the people of color that we’ve all fought for to fight for us now.”

Whoa. Talk about not really understanding equality. ‘Women’ just don’t mean white women, it means all women, all people who identify with the word women. She quickly tried to make herself clear on Twitter but at that point, it was almost too late. Her feminism empowering speech quickly lost its ‘feminist’ touch and became just a speech that attempted equality. Key word. Attempted.

On another note, Graham Moore’s speech for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Imitation Game, which was amazing and certainly one that brought up a much needed topic, suicide.

This was an amazing speech when it comes to bringing up a hard and often shoved under the carpet topic of suicide. This speech did also have a bit of a downside as well; people thought it was a coming out story. It wasn’t. Just taking the speech as it was, it was one of the best speeches of the night.

J.K. Simmon’s speech for best supporting actor for Whiplash started off the night of important speeches with a call to realize that people, in some way, have shaped our lives and that we should thank them for that.

I mean, how could you not pick up your phone after he stated,

“Call your mom, call your dad. If you’re lucky enough to have a parent or two alive on this planet, call ‘em. Don’t text. Don’t email. Call them on the phone. Tell ‘em you love ‘em, and thank them, and listen to them for as long as they want to talk to you. Thank you. Thank you, Mom and Dad.” 

Alright J.K. Simmons, we get it. We are calling right now. This year was just filled with speeches that needed to be said. With that, up next is John Legend and Common’s speech for Best Original Song for Selma.

John Legend eloquently said,

This speech was so important when it comes to reflecting the time and society we live in. There is so much more we must do. Good on you John Legend and Common for bringing up such an important topic on such a big night.

Birdman’s Alejandro G. Iñárritu won for both Best Picture and Best Director. He dedicated his speech to Mexicans in Mexico as well as the latest generation in America with these words,

Well said, especially with all these ideas of immigration running through people’s mind.

Julianne Moore who won for Best Actress in Still Alice, shined light on Alzheimer’s and the daily struggle of living with such a disease.

This year was the year of very real speeches and recognizing Hollywood as an outlet to be used to raise awareness of all-important issues.  The ever-adorable The Theory of Everything’s Eddie Redmayne, who took home the award for Best Actor, used his time to also bring up an important topic, ALS, where he stated the least he could do is be its custodian.

Dana Perry who won for Best Documentary Short along side Ellen Goosenberg Kent for Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1, also gets a spot in this article as she brought up suicide and how she had lost her son to it. She left with these simple words,

“We should talk about suicide out loud.”

Yes, we should. The Oscars brought up tough, but much-needed topics in today’s society from feminism to suicide. Everything stated at least shined a light on just a few subjects that need to be talked about, out loud. I’m sure there were a few more speeches that touched on amazing things but these really stood out to me. If you ever get the chance to be in such a spot to bring up an important topic in your life, do so; you never know, you may just get a finger point and a clap from the Queen herself.

Image credit: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, header

I have been a proud Her Campus writer since my freshman year at Pitt and I am now the Social Media Editor for the chapter. So excited to see where the chapter will go but sadly I am a senior graduating in 2015 with a Communication and Art History major and Film Studies minor.
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