Celebrating 17 Years of Film.Biz.Fans.
by Peter Knegt
November 25, 2013 2:22 PM
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Watch The Last 10 Years of Best Supporting Actor Oscar Speeches

6. Christoph Waltz winning for "Django Unchained" in 2013.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about this year's ceremony was that Christoph Waltz ended up going two for two, winning his second Oscar in four years for his work in "Django Unchained." But it doesn't appear that Waltz lost any of his humility in the process of this rare feat. He gives a lovely (though once again not especially distinctive) speech, culminating in a very nice tribute to Mr. Tarantino, to whom Waltz clearly owes a lot.

7. Morgan Freeman winning for "Million Dollar Baby" in 2005
Wait, Renee Zellweger won an Oscar!? That cold reminder is about as interesting as it gets in this clip, as after she announces Morgan Freeman's win for Clint Eastwood's "Million Dollar Baby," the actor is on and off the stage in about 30 seconds. Like the vast majority of the speeches on this list, there's nothing particularly wrong with the speech. It's just a little boring, particularly given the decades of work leading up to Freeman's win.

8. Tim Robbins winning for "Mystic River" in 2004.
Other than an emotional Susan Sarandon (and her remarkable cleavage) watching as her then-husband Tim Robbins wins for "Mystic River," there's nothing too exciting about this speech, which is one of two on this list that comes via a Clint Eastwood film (40% of the last 10 best supporting actor winners were directed by either Eastwood or Quentin Tarantino, another fun fact). And Robbins' final call for victims of violence to not feel shame in seeking help feels oddly out of place on the Oscar stage.

9. Alan Arkin winning for "Little Miss Sunshine" in 2007.
Just because Alan Arkin notes that he knows you're not supposed to read your speech doesn't get him off the hook for doing just that. He barely looks up as he reads off his piece of paper, and you can't help but wonder what supposed frontrunner Eddie Murphy would have said if he had won for "Dreamgirls" instead (watching him fake clap for Arkin is the best thing about the clip).

Heath Ledger winning for "The Dark Knight" in 2009.
It did not seem in good taste to rank the emotional speech of Heath Ledger's family when they picked up his trophy for "The Dark Knight." But it's certainly worth watching both for the tribute Ledger's family offers him as well as the presentation of the award itself, which involves five previous winners -- Christopher Walken, Kevin Kline, Alan Arkin, Joel Grey and Cuba Gooding Jr. -- coming on stage to fete all five nominees, a lovely thing the Academy should bring back in 2014.

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  • gigi | November 26, 2013 10:14 AMReply

    It's interesting that when Plummer says - Where have you been all my life - it's charming, but when Anne Hathaway says - It happened - it's fake and stupid.

  • Rick | November 25, 2013 3:28 PMReply

    I thought the 5 former winners thing coming out to talk about the current nominees was a nice idea but a little indulgent and too time consuming for a show that is already too long (or at least criticized for being so)

  • ANS | November 25, 2013 6:44 PM

    I completely agree. It's also a blatant reminder that the actors are seen as 'better' or more 'important' than any other people in the industry. I like what they did with Colin Firth's presenting, he said a few lovely sentences about each nominee for Best Actress as well as a clip.

  • Liam | November 25, 2013 3:37 PM

    It also doesn't help if one of your five former winners pronounces it 'Seymour Philip Hoffman' :(