By Julie Miller, Vanity Fair
With just 10 (!) days until the Oscars, many nominees are likely considering whom they will thank at the podium if their name is called on February 24. Fortunately for them, the Academy has furnished a database full of previous acceptance-speech transcripts and video-footage inspiration. (Thanks for the tip, Carpetbagger.) If need be, Jennifer Lawrence and Anne Hathaway can pore over the reference materials and decide which acknowledgements to incorporate for maximum winsomeness and apparent sincerity. And also, who to thank.
The most common shout-outs, it seems, are directed toward the winners' mothers and agents. And thanks to the Academy's records, we can approximate which party is more commonly saluted. According to searches for "mom" and "mother," of the acceptance speeches the Academy has transcribed, maternal figures have been acknowledged approximately 170 times, dating back to 1942 best-actress winner Greer Garson. Other winners who paid tribute to their mothers include Cloris Leachman, Ernest Borgnine, Groucho Marx, Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, Cher, and Audrey Hepburn.
Searches for "agent" and "manager," meanwhile, reveal that those parties have been referenced a comparatively measly 63 times, dating back to Gary Cooper's 1952 win for best actor. Other victors who followed Cooper's suit: Jack Nicholson, Dustin Hoffman, Denzel Washington, Clint Eastwood, Julia Roberts, and Al Pacino. Encouraging news, perhaps, for mothers everywhere! (A counter-theory: the winners are on such close terms with their agents, they simply refer to them by name.)
Meanwhile, another person regularly receiving Oscar-podium shout-outs is Harvey Weinstein, whom, the database shows, has been called out 20 times, beginning with The English Patient director Anthony Minghella in 1997. Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Christoph Waltz have also wisely paid their appreciation to the man known as the Oscar rainmaker.
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