February 23, 2015
Oscar Acceptance Speeches: Why No One Cares About Time Limits

The Oscars are one of the biggest award shows of the year.

It's a big night for movie fans. It's a great spectator event for movie critics. It's most important to the people that literally played a role in the films that are nominated -- both behind the scenes and in front of the camera lens.

That is one of the main reasons why so many people are eager to see and hear what the Oscar winners have to say during their acceptance speeches. Who will they thank? Who will they forget? What inspiring (or controversial) statements will come out of their mouths during their allotted time limits?

However, as soon as the Oscar winner steps behind the microphone, he or she faces several intimidating factors: flashing and recording cameras, hundreds of people staring at them, the reminder that millions of people are clinging to their every word at home and, last but not least, a countdown clock.

Quite a few people have even commented onstage about the seconds that they have left as they are forced to watch them decrease quickly.

However, as seen on Sunday night's broadcast of the Oscars, many people do not seem to care about the time limit when it comes to their acceptance speeches.


Perhaps one (or all) of the following three reasons could answer that question.

The Odds Of A Second Chance Are Extremely Slim

It is true that there are some actors and actresses that have the honor of giving multiple acceptance speeches at the Oscars over time. Meryl Streep. Denzel Washington. Tom Hanks. Hilary Swank. Meryl Streep -- again.

Those are just some of the people who have beat the odds when it comes to having the "chance of a lifetime" more than once. However, when you look at the big picture, you realize that there are so many other actors and actresses that will never even get a chance to step on the stage to present an award, much less accept one.

Therefore, when the envelope is opened and their name is called, they want to milk the opportunity for all its worth -- even long after the infamous music has started playing.

Everyone They Want To Thank Can't Be On Stage, Too

When that type of opportunity arises, the last thing that you want to do is enjoy it by yourself -- especially without the family, friends and colleagues that helped and supported you along the way.

Unfortunately, it's impossible to invite all of those people on stage along with each winner. Therefore, forcing themselves to remember their names and give them one of the most televised shout-outs possible is a lot more important than following a time limit for the average winner's Oscar acceptance speech.

Emotions Trump Preparation Every Single Time

It does not matter how long you might practice an acceptance speech for any award. Dealing with the surprise and shock of the moment when you find out that you actually won the award seems to cause that preparation and rehearsing to disappear almost immediately.

The list of people to thank that you practiced reciting as quickly as you could seems to get fumbled and frazzled in your mind, primarily because your heart must be racing like a champion horse. At most times, once the actor/actress is able to overcome those initial emotions, that is when the beauty and essence of their acceptance speech comes out.

In most cases, however, that timing just does not line up well with the timing restrictions enforced by the Academy.

Yes, it would be great if everyone's Oscar acceptance speech could be memorable, empowering, inspiring, and truly capture the beauty of that moment within the allotted time limit.

However, the chances of that happening are even more slim than the chances of receiving such a prestigious award.

[Image Credit: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images]