Gwyneth Paltrow just after winning Best Actress at the 1999 Oscars

Gwyneth Paltrow just after winning Best Actress at the 1999 Oscars

The weepiest: Gwyneth Paltrow winning Best Actress for Shakespeare in Love (1999)
It was an emotional speech from the beginning, but the waterworks arrived in full force when Gwyneth began to thank her family, particularly her late grandfather Buster. In what is practically now Oscar tradition, she also paid lip service to fellow nominee Meryl Streep. 'The greatest one who ever was [..] I don't feel very deserving of this in your presence.'

The smoothest: Matthew McConaughey winning Best Actor for Dallas Buyers Club (2014)
Maybe it's that cool southern patter old McC has going on, but his acceptance of an Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club has to go down as one of the most cool-as-a-cucumber Academy Award speeches ever made. After thanking his nominees and co-stars he thanked the person he looked up to (God), the person he looked forward to (his family and his father in heaven, 'who is up there right now with a big pot of gumbo, he's got a lemon meringue pie right there, he's probably in his underwear and he's dancing') and the person he chased (himself in ten years time). Only Matthew McConaughey could get away with thanking himself. Bonus points for the cut-aways of Jared Leto, with his very long hair, nodding solemnly.

The most 'I know it's boring I've won but I don't care': Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady (2012)
'When they called my name I had this feeling I could hear half of America going 'oh no, come on. Her. Again. But you know… whatever' Meryl joked. She thanked her husband Don first 'because when you thank your husband at the end of the speech they play him out with the music.' The speech added to the long list of reasons we (and Hollywood) love Meryl.

The most controversial: Marlon Brando for The Godfather (1973)
This speech wasn't actually made by Marlon in person. The actor refused to attend the ceremony in protest at the treatment of American Indians and sent actress and president of the National Native American Affirmative Image Committee Sacheen Littlefeather to speak on his behalf. She was unable to read out the full speech Marlon had given her but the condensed version was treated to a mixed reception of boos and claps.

The happiest: Roberto Benigni for Life is Beautiful (1999)
The Italian director and actor jumped up onto the chairs and danced about when his name was called out by Sophia Loren. 'This is-a too-a much!' he cried in a thick Italian accent, 'I might-a die in these ocean of generosity!' It's such an infectiously enthusiastic performance we challenge you not to watch it without grinning from ear-to-ear.

How will this year's Oscar nominees cope?!