In Review

The best and worst speeches in Oscars history

From Tom Hanks's heartfelt tributes to Gwyneth Paltrow's unstoppable blubbing, here are some of the most memorable

At a time of great political change in the US, the 89th Academy Awards is expected to include some forthright acceptance speeches when actors gather for the ceremony in Los Angeles on Sunday.

The prestigious awards have inspired some poignant messages from actors over the years, as well as a few stage flops.

Here are some of the best and worst in Oscars history:

Best Oscars acceptance speeches

Tom Hanks, 1994

The Hollywood legend graciously accepted the Oscar for Best Actor for his role in Philadelphia with one of the most moving Academy speeches of all time. He began with a loving tribute to his wife and praised his co-stars, but most memorable were his words on the AIDS epidemic.

"The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels. We know their names. They number a thousand for each of the red ribbons we wear here tonight," Hanks said.

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Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, 1997

The fresh-faced actors picked up their first Oscar, Best Original Screenplay for Good Will Hunting, and stole everyone's hearts with their sheer excitement.

Affleck started off the speech by confessing: "I just said to Matt, 'Losing would suck, and winning would be really scary.' And it's really, really scary!" The childhood friends then rattled off a list of people they desperately wanted to thank, as Damon fist pumped to his mother in the audience.

It's hard not to break into a smile while rewatching the speech just from the pure joy on their faces.

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Lupita Nyong'o, 2014

First-time Oscar nominee Nyong'o looked utterly shocked when she was named Best Supporting Actress for 12 Years a Slave three years ago. Nevertheless, she managed to give an eloquent and unforgettable acceptance speech to inspire young people everywhere.

"It doesn't escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else's and so I want to salute the spirit of Patsey for her guidance. And for Solomon, thank you for telling her story and your own," she said, referring to the real-life enslaved African-Americans whose story inspired the film.

"When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every child, no matter where you're from, your dreams are valid."

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And the worst

Gwyneth Paltrow, 1999

After winning Best Actress for Shakespeare in Love, Paltrow's acceptance speech started off emotionally but soon became difficult to watch. Shaking, she talked about the "magnitude of love" for a long, long list of people in her life.

Paltrow should have won a second acting award, says the [1]Daily Telegraph, "for a terrifically tearful acceptance which featured no actual tears".

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George Clooney, 2006

"If you've ever in any doubt as to why acting is widely regarded as the most self-congratulatory profession on the planet, just watch George Clooney's Oscar-winning speech in 2006," says Metro.

Winning Best Supporting Actor for his role in Syriana, he "appeared to believe that Hollywood is solely responsible for solving all the world's major problems", says the newspaper.

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Cuba Gooding Jr, 1997

Gooding Jr couldn't contain his excitement when he won Best Supporting Actor for Jerry Maguire, jumping up and down and speaking a mile a minute, but it started getting awkward when he wouldn't end his speech.

As producers tried to drown him out with music he continued speaking before launching into a mini-dance routine.

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