Five reasons why Jared Leto's Oscar speech was simply the best
Jared Leto accepts the award for best actor in a supporting role for 'Dallas Buyers Club' during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday, March 2, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Matt Sayles / Invision)
Daniel Bitonti, CTVNews.ca
Published Monday, March 3, 2014 8:36AM EST
There was arguably no better speech during Sunday’s Oscars than the one Jared Leto gave when accepting his award for best supporting actor. Leto won the award for his role as a transgender AIDS patient in “Dallas Buyers Club,” his first movie role after taking a six-year acting hiatus.
Here are five reasons why Leto’s speech hit all the right notes.
Short, sweet and anything but sappy
Leto’s speech on Sunday was short and well thought out. While it lasted a mere two minutes and 25 seconds, he was able to fit in everything he needed to. He wasn’t overly emotional, and remained composed throughout. This comes in stark contrast to some other recent Oscar speeches. When Julia Roberts won best actress for her portrayal of legal assistant Erin Brockovich in 2001, her speech dragged on for more than four minutes. And who can forget Halle Berry’s speech when she won best actress for “Monster’s Ball” the following year. Berry could hardly compose herself as she wept on stage. Or how about Cuban Gooding Jr.’s speech from 1997? The actor yelled uncontrollably as the Oscar band started to cut him off. Leto’s speech had none of the theatrics, but will forever be as memorable.
A ‘thank you’ to mom
Before saying anything else, Leto dove right into a short but vivid story about a young, single woman living in Bossier City, Louisiana in 1971. “…Who was pregnant with her second child. She was a high school dropout and a single mom, but somehow she managed to make a better life for herself and her children,” Leto said. “She encouraged here kids to be creative and work hard and do something special. That girl was my mother and she’s here tonight. I just want to say I love you mom, thank you for teaching me to dream.”
Now that’s how you thank mom.
He showed some man love
It wasn’t just mom who received love from Leto: The actor also made a point to tell his brother Shannon that he loved him too, as well as “Dallas Buyers Club” co-star Matthew McConaughey, who later received the Oscar for best actor.
He touched on world politics, without being annoying
Just a day before the Oscars, Russian President Vladimir Putin won approval from his parliament to use military force against in Ukraine. Meanwhile, thousands of people continue to protest the Venezuelan government in marches that have seen police and protestors clash in violent confrontations. Leto touched on both situations, but avoided being preachy. “To all the dreamers out there watching this tonight in places like Ukraine and Venezuela: I want to say we are here and as you struggle. Make your dreams happen, to live the impossible. We’re thinking of you tonight.”
He made a beautiful dedication
Similar to when Tom Hanks won the best actor Oscar for his portrayal of an AIDS sufferer in “Philadelphia,” Leto dedicated his Oscar to the millions of people who have lost their lives to AIDS and the countless others who feel disenfranchised.
“This is for the 36 million who have lost the battle to AIDS, and to those of you who have ever felt injustice because of who you are, or who you love. Tonight I stand here in front of the world with you, and for you,” Leto said.
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