FEATURE: The Importance of the Speech

1 03 2010

At the Screen Actors Guild Awards, they call it “Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role.”  At the Golden Globe Awards, they call it “Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture.”  But at the Academy Awards, the most celebrated show of them all, they call it simply “Best Actor.”

This distinction is important because at the Oscars, it is not just the performance that is rewarded.  It is the actor themselves.  The Academy elects four actors each year to become the face of quality of their industry to the world.  These actors can forever affix the title “Academy Award Winner” to their name on any poster or trailer they so desire.  Thus, they vote not only for a great body of work but also for a face and a personality that represents them well.

The performance gets a select group of actors some attention.  Their name and reputation gets them to the next step: consideration.  Then, a few big groups take a leap and select one of them.  At this point, the part of the voter is done.  It is up to the actors to let us know where they stand.  With their acceptance speech, it is their job to convince us why they deserve the highest honor that their craft has to give.  It is their job to show voters what a vote for them really means.

Let’s take a look at the five actors who have won top prizes from the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild.

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