Many critics find Oscar acceptance speeches disturbing on account of their insincerity. As a fan of the form, I say: nonsense. Anyone who thinks you can get up on stage at the Dolby Theater in front of 40 million people, take an atomic blast of approval from a select audience of your peers, and then fake your response, is very much mistaken. It peels you like an onion.
Gone is the phalanx of publicists, the glazed interview demeanor, the self-protective instincts born of a thousand paparazzo intrusions; and in its place the quick stumble of inarticulacy, the pink flush of pure need, as the star gulps down all the love and acceptance they stand revealed to have craved all along. It's understandably disturbing: we are used to wanting and desiring them, not them needing us.