Thank you, etc.

Not from me, although I have much to be thankful for. This one is about acceptance speeches.

My friend Rajendran posted a comment to my Kate Winslet post asking whether the reference to Emma Thompson was due to her acceptance speech at the Globes years ago, for Sense and Sensibility (Thompson won for Best Adapted Screenplay). And I realized that not many people might know about this little gem. So here it is, in full:

 

Thank you very much. Good Heavens. Um, I can’t thank you enough, Hollywood Foreign Press, for honoring me in this capacity. I don’t wish to burden you with my debts, which are heavy and numerous but, um, I think that everybody involved in the making of this film knows that we owe all our pride and all our joy to the genius of Jane Austen. And it occurred to me to wonder how she would react to an evening like this… [Puts down statue on stage, reads paper] And this is what I came up with.

Four a.m., having just returned from an evening at the Golden Spheres, which despite the inconveniences of heat, noise and overcrowding was not without its pleasures. Thankfully, there were no dogs and no children. The gowns were middling. There was a good deal of shouting and behavior verging on the profligate, however, people were very free with their compliments and I made several new acquaintences. There was Lindsay Doran of Mirage, wherever that might be, who’s largely responsible for my presence here, an enchanting companion about whom too much good cannot be said. Mr. Ang Lee, of foreign extraction, who most unexpectedly appeared to understand me better than I understand myself. Mr. James Shamis, a most copiously erudite person and Miss Kate Winslet, beautiful in both countenance and spirit. Mr. Pat Doyle, a composer and Scot, who displayed the kind of wild behavior one has learned to expect from that race. Mr. Mark Kenton, an energetic person with a ready smile who, as I understand it, owes me a great deal of money. [Breaks character, smiles] TRUE!! [back in character] Miss Lisa Hanson of Columbia, a lovely girl and Mr. Garrett Wiggin, a lovely boy. I attempted to converse with Mr. Sydney Pollack, but his charms and wisdom are so generally pleasing, that it proved impossible to get within ten feet of him. The room was full of interesting activity until 11 p.m. when it emptied rather suddenly. The lateness of the hour is due, therefore, not to the dance, but to waiting in a long line for a horseless carriage of unconscionable size. The modern world has clearly done nothing for transport.

P.S. Managed to avoid the hoyden Emily Thompson, who has purloined my creation and added things of her own. Nefarious Creature!

Thank you.

 

This is the sort of speech that makes for a wonderful trivia question, and warms the cockles of my quizzing heart. She followed this up with an Oscar win as well, although that speech was marginally less wonderful:

 

I don’t really know how to thank the Academy for this. And if I try we’ll be here till Christmas. So I better get on…

Before I came, I went to visit Jane Austen’s grave in Winchester Cathedral to pay my respects, you know, and tell her about the grosses. I don’t know how she would react to an evening like this, but I do hope — I do hope she knows how big she is in Uruguay.

Profound thanks to Columbia Pictures and the lovely forms of Lisa Henson, Gary Wiggan, and Mark Canter for hiring a first-time writer; to James Shamus for his rare intelligence; to Sidney Pollack for asking all the right questions, like ‘Why couldn’t these women go out and get a job?’ Why, indeed. To the cast and crew, for being impeccable. To my friend and my teacher, Lindsay Doran, for being the single most frustrating reason why I can’t claim all the credit for myself. And finally, I would like with your permission to dedicate this Oscar to our director, Ang Lee. Ang, wherever you are, this is for you. Thank you.

Source: Wikiquote

Bonus feature

Since I am in a generous mood (also since I don’t have to do much else other than cut-pasting these items here), here are Youtube links to Hugh Grant’s acceptance speech for his second Golden Globe win (Best Actor in a TV Series – Drama, for House):

 

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9 thoughts on “Thank you, etc.

  1. I absolutely don’t remember Emma Thompson’s speeches for this movie (although I knew that she had won and I loved the movie) so this was a lovely thing to chance upon. Thanks so much for putting it up.

    PS – I must do this: Hugh LAURIE! Hugh LAURIE! Hugh (the tranny hopper) Grant WISHES he were half as awesome as Hugh Laurie!

  2. Amrita: Seconded. Even if Grant became twice as awesome as he is, he’d still be only half as awesome as Laurie. \o/

    On the topic of exceptional acceptance speeches though, I have two favorites (and it’s not a coincidence that both are Brits):

    2. Hugh Laurie’s previous Golden Globe winning speech:

    http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-us&vid=d3faede1-fab1-46d4-b53d-61ce89230b17

    Speechless… literally. 😀 No best-speech list seems to be complete without him.

    1. Alec Guinness, winning an Honorary Oscar:

    It runs to around 7 and a half minutes with a large intro from Dustin Hoffman. The first five are okay, but the last 2 minutes and 30 seconds or so are pure acceptance-speech-genius.

  3. You’re right, he is pretty awesome. Every time I watch House, I have to keep reminding myself that this guy also played Bertie Wooster and Mr. Little. I’d say Laurie is like Hugh Grant with liberal helpings of James Spader mixed in.

    Pradeep>> Thanks for the link to his earlier speech. I tried looking for it on Youtube but it seems to have been removed from there. I especially love the bit about how people fall over themselves to offer “free shoes and free cuff links and colonic irrigations for two” but no acceptance speech 😀

    Thanks also for the Alec Guinness speech. Lovely stuff!

    ~ramsu

  4. I especially loved this little moment in the Alec Guinness speech where he speaks of making a career out of showing no expression, and they cut to show Jack Lemmon and Billy Wilder laughing and applauding.

    Wilder was known to ask his actors to dial down their performances, especially their voices. Roger Ebert recounts an incident where Wilder kept asking Lemmon to give him a little less until the latter finally said, “What do you want? Nothing?” And Wilder responded, “Please God!”

    ~ramsu

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