by Keava O’Loan
With the 2015 Oscars fast approaching and competition as fierce as ever, here’s a rundown of our top 10 most memorable Oscars’ moments of all time.
- Oscars’ hell with Franco and Hathaway
What we’re kicking off with is less of a moment and more of an ordeal. When James Franco and Anne Hathaway took to the stage to host the 83rd Annual Academy Awards, we were treated to a night full of awkward jokes, forced laughter and uncomfortable silences. This pairing will go down in history for their complete lack of chemistry.
- Cuba jumps for joy
Cuba Gooding, Jr. couldn’t hold in his delight in 1997 when he won Best Supporting Actor for his role in Jerry Maguire. In what has to be one of the most exuberant speeches in Oscars history, Cuba’s contagious happiness and ecstatic leap of joy brought the entire audience to their feet.
- Gwyneth Paltrow’s endless speech
Now on the other end of the spectrum, Gwyneth Paltrow’s win for her role in Shakespeare in Love. Paltrow’s never-ending rundown of thank-yous regularly tops lists as the most annoying Oscars speech of all time. If you’re in the mood to torture yourself, feel free to watch (it really kicks up a notch around the three-minute mark):
- Heath’s posthumous win
Proof that although he is gone, he’s never forgotten; Heath Ledger posthumously won the award for Best Supporting Actor in The Dark Knight at the 2009 ceremony. His family accepted the award on his behalf, delivering a moving and humbling speech that brought many in the audience to tears.
- John Wayne’s last hurrah
In what was to be his last public appearance before he lost his battle with cancer, John Wayne presented the Best Picture award in 1979. As the crowd rose to give him a standing ovation, he said: “That’s just about the only medicine a fella’d ever really need.” He passed away just two months later.
- Scorsese’s recognition
Martin Scorsese finally took home the gold in 2007, winning a long overdue Best Director award for The Departed. The director, who had been passed over for the award five times previously, couldn’t believe it, incredulously asking “Could you double-check the envelope?”
- Jack meets Jennifer
Okay, so it didn’t even take place during the awards ceremony, but when Jack Nicholson interrupted Jennifer Lawrence’s post-ceremony interview to tell her “You look like an old girlfriend”, it definitely provided some comic relief. Props to Lawrence for her quick response of “Do I look like a new girlfriend?”
- Bigelow wins big
Kathryn Bigelow made history in 2010 when she became the first woman to take home a statuette for Best Director with her low-budget war film, The Hurt Locker. Beating her ex-husband James Cameron’s blockbuster Avatar, Bigelow described it as “the moment of a lifetime.”
- Lupita’s debut
Lupita Nyong’o caused waves at last year’s awards, not only taking the red carpet by storm, but also taking home the Best Supporting Actress award for her breakout role as Patsey in 12 Years a Slave. She then topped it off by giving one of the most beautiful and inspiring acceptance speeches in Oscars’ history. “When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every child, no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.”
- Oscars’ selfie
The moment Ellen DeGeneres decided to jump on the selfie bandwagon at the 2014 Oscars, history was made. In what became the most retweeted tweet of all time (3.36million retweets and counting!), a host of famous faces crowded together for the ultimate celebrity pic. Featuring Bradley Cooper, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Jared Leto, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyong’o and Angelina Jolie amongst others… there’s no question that this was a pretty iconic moment.