Heath Ledger was the final person depicted in the memorial tribute. His accidental death occurred on the day the Oscar nominations were announced. The following year, Ledger was posthumously awarded Best Supporting Actor for his performance as The Joker in The Dark Knight (2008). See more »
[accepting his first Oscar of the night for Best Adapted Screenplay]
We, uh... thank you very much.
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I have been watching the Oscars on TV ever since I was a kid, and a lot has changed since then, some things for the better: the elimination of those ridiculous musical numbers, the pairing of two presenter celebs who were forced to exchange tepid, forced, non-witty repartee before finally reading the names of the nominees and announcing the winner, things like that - and one thing, unfortunately, has changed for the worst: the 30-second acceptance speech rule for the winners.
This single act has, in my opinion, ruined every award show that it's been used on in the past few years. The producers say it's a time constraint deal, that without it the winners would just drone on and on, actually getting to enjoy their moment of glory, and the show would run too long, costing the network more money. This excuse doesn't hold water though, because so much time is still wasted, what with all the special presentations, the singing of the nominated songs, blah blah blah. This valuable time could be used to allow the winners to talk, rather than having them up there either (a) rushing like maniacs to shut up before the clock ticks off their allotted seconds, or (b) refusing to kowtow and trying to actually say what they would like to say under the gun of the dreaded ORCHESTRA MUSIC starting to play after their 30 seconds and continuing to get louder and louder until they shut the $#!* up and get the hell off.
I feel that the producers of these shows have completely lost sight of what makes an award show good, what provides the actual GUTS of the show: it's the winners, getting to share with the audience how thrilled, moved, excited, etc., they are to be singled out for this honor. Depriving them by forcing them to speak for only 30 seconds is a crime, in my opinion. And to the people who complain that the show is too long, the speeches go on too long, I say they shouldn't be watching. The Oscars is a show for hardcore movie lovers, and to try to reduce it to a lowest-common-denominator presentation destroys the entire purpose of the show, strips it of its meaning and renders it useless. You might as well be watching a car commercial.
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