The Oscar Gala is an event marked by elegance, solemnity and touching message of thanks, but occasionally arise moments that give salt and pepper to the ceremonial atmosphere. Funny, strange, inappropriate, they remain in Academy Awards history. Here are ten all time unusual moments at the Oscar’s.
1. The naked Robert Opel
A specific time in’70s culture. During the 1974 gala, a man (Robert Opel) paraded naked on stage during the presentation held by actor David Niven (The Pink Panther). The audience responded loudly, but Niven, thanks to his British calm coped brilliantly with the situation. “Probably the only love that man will get in his life is by stripping off ans showing his shortcomings”, he said.
2. Sally Field: too much narcissism
In 1985, after being handed her second statuette of her career for her leading role in Places of the Heart, Sally Field surprised the audience with an overwhelming discourse, which was not appreciated: “I can’t deny that you like me! Right now, you like me”, shouted Field.
3. Doing push-ups at the Academy Awards
Jack Palance was rewarded with his first Oscar at 73 (in 1992), after decades of career. The venerable actor wanted to give a lesson to the producers who are reluctant to use older actors in their films, but who still successfully cope with the challenges of the job. Thus, after a joke at the expense of the host, Billy Crystal, Palance did some pushups in one hand.
4. F****g easy
In her speech in 2011, when she received the statuette for her supporting role in The Fighter, Melissa Leo dropped a not very pleasant word. The colorful expression was lightly dismissed, given the funny context: “When I saw Kate two years ago, it seemed so f****g easy”.
5. Every man’s dream: kissing Halle Berry
In 2002, the Oscar for Best Actor went to Adrien Brody for The Pianist (the youngest actor to win in this category). Prior to thanking for the prize, Brody used a very bold gesture: he kissed Halle Berry on the mouth when she handed him the statuette.
6. Watch your step!
It would have been trivial when hearing his name, Roberto Benigni to actually step on the ground. The Oscar for Life is Beautiful gave the Italian wings, because he “flew” on the stage, with the help of some seats. But that didn’t stop him: the filmmaker hopped with joy.
7. The one and only Michael Moore
Bowling for Columbine won the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2003 and Michael Moore took the stage and began a bitter political speech, which drew a mixed reactions from the audience (cheers and sounds of disapproval). What did the producers expect in the middle of the scandal regarding the American invasion of Iraq?
“We like non-fiction because we live in fictitious times. We live in a time where fictitious election results give us a fictitious president. We are now fighting a war for fictitious reasons. Whether it’s the fiction of duct tape or the fictitious ‘Orange Alerts,’ we are against this war, Mr. Bush. Shame on you, Mr. Bush, shame on you”.
8. It’s Hard out Here for a Pimp
Martin Scorsese talked about gangsters in his movies from the early 70s and was rewarded with an Oscar in 2006 for The Departed. The guys from Three 6 Mafia composed a song for the soundtrack of Hustle & Flow and took home a statuette for Best Original Song (It’s Hard out Here for a Pimp). We live in a strange world. Not only the appearance on stage of the group members represented a marked contrast when compared to the stylish outfits in the audience, but they also gave an unusual speech: ultra-enthusiastic and … hard to discern.
Seth MacFarlane was elected last year to turn the awards event in a fun and relaxing show, but the result was not very successful. MacFarlane targeted directly at … actresses’ boobs in the musical sequence from the opening gala, an embarrassing moment for female stars in the audience and later disproved vehemently by a feminist group. This year, Ellen DeGeneres has a chance to reply.
10. What an outfit!
Some of the stars invited to the glittering gala held by the American Academy chose to shock with unusual clothing choices – Bjork, with her swan dress, South Park creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who walked the red carpet dressed in dresses similar to those worn by some famous actresses from the previous gala – but were all overshadowed by Ben Stiller, disguised at the 2010 ceremony as a inhabitant of the fantastical world created by James Cameron.