The AfterEllen.com Huddle: Favorite Oscar Winners

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The Osars are on Sunday, so we want to know who, in the past, has won you over with their acceptance speech, or blown you away with a winning performance?

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Dara Nai: The 2013 Oscars could otherwise be called the Jennifer Lawrence Awards because she won Best Actress for Silver Linings Playbook, and handily won the room. As she does. But the best part wasn’t her acceptance speech, it was her post-win interviews with the press where one dopey reporter asked her about her “process” for getting ready, to which she replied, “Um, I took a shower.”
 
In other news, the 2014 Oscars spawned the now-epic MySpace (who the hell is still on MySpace?) post by JLaw’s best friend entitled, “I Went to the Oscars and Nobody Cared,” which I will go re-read now because it’s SO GOOD.
 
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Ali Davis: Jodie Foster‘s performance in Silence of the Lambs. Because Jodie Foster, yes, but also because that performance is fantastica physically tiny woman walking straight into what frightens her, over and overand because of the way it so firmly announced the way Hollywood would be needing to treat her from now on: No, The Accused was not a fluke, and yes, it is time to stop saying “child star.” It was a genuinely great performance wrapped up in the meta-announcement: “Hello. I’m a boss.”
 
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Chelsea Steiner: I thought that Marion Cotillard‘s performance as Edith Piaf was nothing short of transformative. It’s hard to think of another actress who went so deep into her role. She didn’t play Piafshe was Piaf. 
 
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Bridget McManus: I’m old school: I love Sally Field‘s sincere, “You like me! You really like me!” Oscar speech for her best actress award for Places in the Heart.
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Eboni Rafus: Lupita Nyong’o! Her role as Patsey in 12 Years a Slave was a revelation. One reviewer said that if Solomon was the hero of the film, then Patsy is the heart. I couldn’t agree more.  Because Ms. Nyong’o played the familiar role of a slave, one of the few roles that have historically been available for black actors, some feel her win is less than triumphant. But her moving portrayal of an abused woman who has lost all hope of salvation transcends stereotypes. Even more inspirational than her performance, was her acceptance speech. She said, in part:

“It doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else’s. And so I want to salute the spirit of Patsey for her guidance…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.” 

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Miranda Meyer: I seem to have some sort of natural aversion to Oscar acceptance speeches; they nearly always make me cringe more than anything. (Weirdly, this is not true of other awards shows. Maybe it’s the insistence on Peak Gravitas.) Lupita was definitely an exception, but since Eboni already mentioned her, I’ll go with Cate Blanchett‘s “announcement” last year that the world is ready for movies about women! She was so exasperated, it was great.

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Grace Chu: Bjork won the Oscars by strolling onto the red carpet with this dress in 2001. At an awards ceremony considered to be establishmentarian and stuffy, she just gave zero fucks.

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Trish Bendix: I am still bitter Cher didn’t win Best Supporting Actress for her lesbian role in Silkwood in 1984. The Academy must have decided she already won by getting to play Meryl Streep’s roommate and best friend. Cher eventually won an Oscar for Moonstruck, but I’m sure it was also because they knew they fucked up the first time around. But as far as actual wins go, I loved seeing Charlize Theron taking home Best Actress for Monster.

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Kim Hoffman: I am so emotional at Oscar acceptance speeches—especially the award for best original screenplay in a motion picture. The minute I hear those words, my heart begins to race and just about anything that the writer says up there on that mic makes me feel 100% affected. It’s been this way since I was a kid. It’s validating—not because I have aspirations to win Oscars but because my heroes are writers, and when their work becomes visual, there is something completely important at stake. In this case, it was Dustin Lance Black winning the award in 2009 for writing Milk. It was also the year I came out, like, officially, and honestly. So, this one’s for Harvey, and the power of a writer capturing a person’s spirit in film.

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Dana Piccoli: I have a soft spot for Sandra Bullock, and when she won her Oscar for The Blind Side, her humility and sense of humor just sealed the deal for me. She also basically dedicates most of her speech to telling the other nominees who amazing they are. Especially Meryl, who she tells everyone is “such a good kisser.” Love you Sandy!

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Who was your favorite win?

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