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At the Oscars, so many winners seized their moments in the spotlight to make bold statements during their acceptance speeches.
Among them were Citizenfour‘s Lauren Poitras on protecting whistle-blowers, Still Alice‘s Julianne Moore on bringing visibility to Alzheimer’s patients and Boyhood‘s Patricia Arquette in fighting for equal pay.
But of those honored, three rose above the rest when at the podium on the Dolby Theatre stage. Here are the best acceptance speeches of the 87th Academy Awards:
Best original song — Common and John Legend
The musicians of the original song winner “Glory” from Selma took turns stressing the lasting, international significance of Martin Luther King Jr.‘s historic march. “The spirit of this bridge [referring to an onstage replica of Selma, Alabama’s Edmund Pettus Bridge] connects the kid from the South Side of Chicago dreaming of a better life to those in France standing up for their freedom of expression, to the people in Hong Kong protesting for democracy,” said Common (watch in the video above). “This bridge was built on hope, welded with compassion and elevated by love for all human beings.”
John Legend added, “We know that right now, the struggle for freedom and justice is real. We live in the most incarcerated country in the world. There are more black men under correctional control today than were under slavery in 1850. When people are marching with our song, we want to tell you we are with you, we see you, we love you and march on.”
Best supporting actor — J.K. Simmons
Don’t forget where you came from, said Whiplash star J.K. Simmons onstage. “If I may: Call your mom, everybody. I’m told there’s like a billion people or so [watching]. Call your mom, call your dad — if you’re lucky enough to have a parent or two alive on this planet, call them. Don’t text, don’t email, call them on the phone. Tell them you love them and thank them, and listen to them for as long as they want to talk to you,” said the best supporting actor winner before thanking his own parents.
Best adapted screenplay — Graham Moore
The Imitation Game screenwriter shared encouraging words to all those watching at home and inside the Dolby Theatre. “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 for 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. Stay weird, stay different, and then when it’s your turn and you’re standing on this stage, please pass the same message to the next person who comes along.”
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Santa Barbara International Film Festival