9 Oscar Acceptance Speeches That Will Give You Happy Tears Chrissa Hardy

The time has come for our favorite famous faces to tearfully express their gratitude for winning their well-deserved Oscar® statues. And I cannot handle a second of it without weeping uncontrollably. What is it about seeing someone cry that makes another person cry? Does this happen to you too? I hope I’m not alone in this slightly embarrassing quirk. But back to the speeches…

It’s always fascinating to see how hardworking A-list actors react to such an achievement. Some keep their cool and deliver their thank you’s flawlessly (stay classy, George Clooney), and some take a controversial approach with their limited time on the Oscar stage. Most winners however, are gracious and humbly surprised by the victory. Those are the ones we remember fondly and replay on YouTube for years to come.

In fact, let’s relive 9 of best acceptance speeches, and quotes now. Grab your tissues for a steady flow of happy tears.

1. Marion Cotillard for La Vie en Rose in 2007

Image courtesy of Paul Smith / Featureflash

Image courtesy of Paul Smith / Featureflash

Always so composed and graceful during interviews, Marion was overcome with emotion the moment her name was read. The most endearing part was when she said, “Thank you life, thank you love. It is true, there are some angels in this city!”

2. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon for Good Will Hunting in 1997

Neither of these gents cried during their acceptance speech, but they were just SO NERVOUS and SO YOUNG, that it’s hard not to get choked up thinking about how their stars have risen since. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, despite their incredible success to date, still seem to be two of the most down-to-earth guys in Hollywood. But their first Oscar win is a clear reminder of their humble beginnings. They brought their moms as dates that night, Ben Affleck’s voice cracked twice during the speech, and they excitedly yelled names of people they wanted to thank, ending with a thank you to the city and people of Boston. #Swoon

3. Halle Berry for Monster’s Ball in 2002

Image courtesy of TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

Image courtesy of TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

Probably the most emotional speech I’ve ever seen. But for opening the door that she did, can you blame her? Halle became the first African American winner in the Best Actress category and was so appreciative of being given this honor that she had trouble catching her breath at first and was visibly shaking throughout. Such an amazing historic moment to relive.

4. Tom Hanks for Philadelphia in 1993

Mr. Hanks brings us on a roller coaster of feelings in his acceptance speech for his role as as AIDS victim Andrew Beckett in Philadelphia. He lays on the adorable romcom charm with a nod to his wife, a humble thank you to his cast and mentors, a quick joke about his love for Antonio Banderas, and then a powerful message about the AIDS epidemic. Also, when thanking his high school drama teacher and former classmate and referring to them as “two of the finest gay Americans,” he accidentally outed both of them. This moment actually inspired Kevin Kline’s 1997 comedy In & Out.

5. Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady in 2012

Image courtesy of Paul Smith / Featureflash

Image courtesy of Paul Smith / Featureflash

It’s Meryl, you guys. And what can Meryl do? Anything. Including, make us laugh at her humblebrag, well up at the dedication to her husband, and just bask in her overwhelming charisma when she embraces all of Hollywood as her friends.

6. Michael Caine for The Cider House Rules in 2000

Many actors have tried to thank their fellow nominees in a way that seems genuine while still getting through their own thank you’s with a enough time to beat the music. And many have failed. Michael Caine begins his speech with this: ”I was thinking back to how the Academy changed ‘the winner is’ to ‘the Oscar goes to.’ And if ever there was a category where the Oscar goes to someone without there being a winner, it’s this one. Because I do not feel like being a winner.”

7. Gwyneth Paltrow for Shakespeare in Love in 1999

Image courtesy of TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

Image courtesy of TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

I can’t watch someone cry when talking about their family without getting emotional thinking about how much I love mine. Gwyneth is filled with gratitude for the support of her loved ones and she is just absolutely stunning in that career-changing dress.

8. Jamie Foxx for Ray in 2004

He WAS Ray Charles in that role and he tears up when thanking his grandmother. SO incredibly sweet.

9. Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side in 2010

Image courtesy of Jaguar PS

Image courtesy of Jaguar PS

Her brilliant portrayal of Leigh Anne Tuohy and her always kind and warm spirit made this win one of the best for me. Forget about the events in her personal life that followed, she deserved this victory. She deserves everything wonderful that comes her way. Especially with a personal philosophy like this from her mom: “If you want to be an artist, you have to practice every day.”

Can’t wait to see how many new happy tears will be shed for this year’s Oscar winners! Make sure you join our Oscar night Twitter party, Co-hosted by the lovely Shay Mitchell (@shaymitch)! Red Carpet coverage starts at 7pm EST / 4pm PST and we’ll be tweeting about the dresses, the speeches and all the other fun moments in between. Follow these hashtags to join the conversation: #HGparty, and #Oscars!

All images via Shutterstock and Getty Images

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  1. I think Cuba Gooding Jr’s speech needs to be recognized here also. He threw the thing in the air afterall!

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