Winner's moment at mike should be brief, memorable

( ) Updated: 2006-03-19 16:47:56

Winner's moment at mike should be brief, memorableWhen overdressed, overhyped and overpampered movie stars stand at the mike Sunday night with their glittering Oscars, taking longer than they should to thank everyone, just be grateful it isn't 1943.

That's when Greer Garson, who won best actress for Mrs. Miniver, cleared her throat and said she was unprepared. Then, according to Turner Classic Movie host Robert Osborne's Academy Awards Illustrated, she talked for nearly an hour.

An academy historian has claimed Garson's speech ran closer to seven minutes. Either way is enough to make an already seemingly endless show way too long.

Or, if we were really lucky, it would be 1946. Ray Milland won best actor for The Lost Weekend, took his Oscar statuette in hand, bowed and without a word, exited the stage.
Sunday's winners will have 45 seconds each to give thanks before the trills of the orchestra begin, suggesting that they get off the stage.

Notable reactions include Jack Palance (City Slickers) performing one-handed push-ups and Adrien Brody (The Pianist) planting a big kiss on presenter Halle Berry. Louise Fletcher (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) accepted in sign language.

But in the end it is the acceptance speech that is supposed to matter. Experts say actors should never wing it.

"You don't have very long to talk, and if you really think about it beforehand and can say just one or two things that are memorable, you can have more impact," advises noted speech coach Patricia Fripp, of San Francisco.

She cites Cher's best-actress speech in 1988 for Moonstruck, when she said, "I know this does not mean I am somebody, but I am on my way."

Fripp says honorees should be gracious, grateful and humble, but not so much so that they seem to be trivializing the event. "The public sees actors as heroes who give wonderful performances and then can't give a good speech," Fripp says.

Editor's Picks
Hot words

Most Popular