The 9 Speeches to Prepare for on Oscar Night

From sweet and charming to long and rambling, we break down the acceptance speeches of this year's nominees before it's time to thank the Academy

01 of 09

THE GOLD STANDARD SPEECH

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AP

Odds are, Sally Field won’t win Best Supporting Actress come Oscar night. But if we could, we’d sway Academy voters to change their minds just so Field could get back at the podium, where in 1985 she memorably shouted, “I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!” (a line from Places in the Heart that’s often been misquoted as “You like me, you really like me!”). No speech has been so synonymous with Oscar lore, so the only remedy is for Field to win again and one-up herself.

02 of 09

THE WAXING POETIC SPEECH

THE WAXING POETIC SPEECH
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Bless the two-time Oscar winner’s heart for the sincere appreciation he shows his collaborators during his acceptance speeches, which helps make up for the fact that he takes the air out of the Best Actor Oscar race every time he’s nominated in that category. “It seems to me that this sprang like a golden sapling out of the mad, beautiful head of Paul Thomas Anderson,” he said in an homage to his There Will Be Blood director during his 2008 win. When Day-Lewis hits the podium this time around, be prepared for metaphors about his Lincoln director Spielberg and beautifully milled log cabins.

03 of 09

THE AGAINST ALL ODDS SPEECH

THE AGAINST ALL ODDS SPEECH
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It’s a tale as old as time in Hollywood, and Jessica Chastain is living proof that anyone – even a petite redhead with throwback looks – can make it big if you want it bad enough. We’d argue fellow nominee gets more of sympathy votes in the struggling actress makes good category (she starred in Tank Girl, after all), but come Oscar night the Zero Dark Thirty star has the better odds of making it up to the podium.

04 of 09

THE ANNOYANCE OF BEING EARNEST SPEECH

THE ANNOYANCE OF BEING EARNEST SPEECH
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Calling her Golden Globe a “weapon against self-doubt” didn’t exactly endear the onetime to viewers. During her SAG Awards speech, Hathaway tried a different tact – humor – saying, “I’m just so thrilled I have dental,” which came across to some as more facetious than heartfelt. Viewers should have recovered enough from the last awards show to be prepared when Hathaway, the odds-on favorite to win the Best Supporting Actress, has a way bigger weapon to wield this time around: her Oscar.

05 of 09

THE MY WIFE, MY LIFE SPEECH

THE MY WIFE, MY LIFE SPEECH
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While an Oscar shout-out to one’s better half hasn’t always proved the sign of a happy union, count on to pay a lengthy tribute to wife Deborra Lee-Furness on the off chance he’s named Best Actor. No, a single line of acknowledgement will not do; when it comes how much he loves thee, Deborra, Jackman will count the ways just like he did at the Globes.

06 of 09

THE OPEN DESIRE SPEECH

THE OPEN DESIRE SPEECH
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Forget “you really like me,” how about “I really wanted this.” There’s nothing like good-old fashioned hubris if your name is Steven Spielberg, and you’ve already cleaned up best director honors throughout the 1999 awards show season. With already one directing Oscar under his belt (for Schindler’s List), Spielberg knew he’d be scoring some face time from the Shine Auditorium stage for Saving Private Ryan. If the Lincoln director wins No. 3 come Feb. 24, expect the seasoned pro to claim it like he owns it – because 14 years is a long separation from Oscar.

07 of 09

THE WILD CARD SPEECH

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Paul Drinkwater/NBC/Getty

What will she say next? Not even knows – and that may be her greatest talent, her refreshing candor. From her gleeful “I beat Meryl!” outburst to her outrageous shout-out to Silver Linings Playbook producer Harvey Weinstein for “killing whoever you had to kill” to ensure her Globe win, the 22-year-old has a mouth that’s as unfiltered as the smog in L.A., which is a breath of fresh air in a town where most actors play by the same scripted playbook.

08 of 09

THE ENVELOPE WINGMAN SPEECH

THE ENVELOPE WINGMAN SPEECH
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Though it wasn’t much of a surprise to film watchers, Capote star Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Oscar win seemed to come as a shock to the actor, whose death grip on his winning envelope throughout most of his speech – which he even used to shield his eyes at one point – did little to hide Hoffman’s genuine nervousness, or the fact that he didn’t have a prepared speech in hand. If Hoffman is lucky enough to nab a second Oscar for The Master, watch for him to reunite with his wingman – the envelope, please.

09 of 09

THE GOOD LUCK CHARM SPEECH

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Argo has reaped the star multiple best director and best picture accolades, and if the father of three is to be believed, his family is the reason why. Having sported handwritten ink from his kids at most of the year’s awards shows, the filmmaker looks to continue the trend at the Oscars, and will undoubtedly acknowledge the trio’s power of influence should the snubbed director pick up the Best Picture trophy.

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