EXAMPLES: Sean Penn, I Am Sam; Tom Hanks, Forrest Gump (WON), Billy Bob Thornton, Sling Blade; Leonardo DiCaprio, What's Eating Gilbert Grape
Once you've used the above tips to get nominated, winning's a crapshoot. "Was I retarded enough?" "Did I French Jake Gyllenhaal hard enough?" "Did I smear the feces of exploitation upon the right dead person's legacy?" That's for the Academy to decide (apparently, by throwing darts at a spinning wheel of nominees' names). But if you're lucky enough to have been retarded/saliva-ey/disrespectful enough to win, you'll have to give a speech.
When doing so, remember one simple rule: lie. No one wants to hear the truth (that your broken childhood instilled such a deep need for attention in you that you wandered, longingly, to LA 15 years ago and started tonguing producers' groins for line-free parts opposite Mario Van Peebles). What they do want to hear is you expressing you deep thanks, tearfully and profusely, to at least two of the following people (even if you don't mean it):
- A dead relative, who is inspiring
- The film's director, who is a genius
- Your agent, who is a trooper
- Your children, who are beautiful
- Oprah Winfrey, who is the divine embodiment of true female strength and beauty
As a rule, all good acceptance speeches hit two of these targets, but if you can convince people that you're thankful to all five of these people, the media will discuss your speech for literally days on end. Which is exactly what happened to Jamie Foxx, winner of the Best Actor Oscar in 2004, who tearfully performed his staged thanks to his late grandmother, Ray director Taylor Hackford, his agents, his daughter and, yes, Oprah Winfrey.