Oscar speeches are normally a great time to sneak in a nap, but every once in a while, a speech comes along you actually want to hear.
Barry Jenkins’ acceptance speech for Moonlight has to be at the top of the list. After the awkward Oscar mishap of 2017, where Warren Beatty accidentally announced La La Land had won, Jenkins was robbed of his acceptance speech.
Thankfully, over a year later, Jenkins was able to deliver his speech at a South by Southwest Panel.
Here’s the full video:
And for folks who don’t have the attention span to actually listen to complete speeches (raises hand), the full text:
Tarell and I are Chiron. We are that boy. And when you watch Moonlight, you don’t assume a boy who grew up how and where we did would grow up and make a piece of art that wins an Academy Award. I’ve said that a lot, and what I’ve had to admit is that I placed those limitations on myself, I denied myself that dream. Not you, not anyone else — me. And so, to anyone watching this who sees themselves in us, let this be a symbol, a reflection that leads you to love yourself. Because doing so may be the difference between dreaming at all and, somehow through the Academy’s grace, realizing dreams you never allowed yourself to have. Much love.
Jenkins then added, “That is the speech I would’ve read after winning best picture.”
If you aren’t sobbing yet, please let me help. After delivering the speech, Jenkins recounted what it was like to witness the people Moonlight represented actually see the film in person.
“If I cried that night it wasn’t because we won best picture,” Jenkins said. “I cried because I realized I denied myself that dream for so long that I didn’t even recognize it when, through the help of my friends, I was able to give that dream to someone else.”
In the category of ‘Best Delayed Oscars Speech Everyone Should Have Watched,’ I present … Barry Jenkins.