Well, this sure is a surprise. No, please you don’t have to stand up for this. I am in the bosom of my peers, and right now we are all winners. Of course, all of you are of the highest caliber in your fields. Ben Affleck, you are a double threat. Triple if I note how many babies you have. Ha ha. Just kidding with you there. Jessica Chastain, you have come out of nowhere in the last few years like a hurricane and just blown off our windows and doors and roofs and foundations. You were the moral center behind Zero Dark Thirty and who wouldn’t torture those bastards to get Bin Laden? I would. There are times when a self-righteous meltdown is totally justified both onscreen and off.
Jennifer Lawrence, or if I may, J. Law, I think you’re only 15 or something and here you are beating out Meryl Streep for awards. Scripture says, “A child shall lead them,” but I think it also says a child will hand their asses to them on Oscar night. (No offense, Isaiah 11:6.)
I’ve been pretty fortunate to have worked on my script for so long when it was in the development stages with somebody who knows Steven Spielberg. This was a labor of love you gave me this Oscar for, and though I sit before you now, gleaming trophy in hand, most of the gleaming I’ve done over the last few years was born of the tanks of sweat coming down my glistening forehead and neck as I struggled over this thing I called “Piece of shit” maybe 1,200 times. The original draft is covered with blood and stomach acid.
When I first broached the idea for the screenplay with my agent (who is not at CAA, by the way), he said that my idea was more than a downer. It was also truly hostile. I had to ride that compliment for three more years alone as I worked through draft after draft and honed the script that you all know now to be a story of a man caught between extremes. My film was about the audacity of the human spirit in a world where everybody is a scorpion capable of fucking his own face. A world where people who called you their best friends and toasted you at your wedding one day could turn around the next and divorce you like an ax-handle turd and tell people you were on lithium for two years in the 90s.
I know that you are all, my peers, on the same page with me tonight when I talk about the kind of integrity I mean. Tommy Lee Jones. Ang Lee. Adele. All of you people of great sensitivity know. You who record human emotions like a photographic plate burns at the kiss of sunlight. You, my peers. Jack Nicholson. Helen Hunt. Daniel Day-Lewis. You who like me also likely know how loathsome it is to even be touched by other people when you have to brush by them in a supermarket. We who have the tender emotions of artists carry them like open wounds and yet must constantly suffer these indignities and miseries and beclown ourselves for people who are not fit to eat after us at Denny’s.
When you tripped after receiving your award, J Law, you said, “Aww shucks, you’re just giving me a standing ovation because I tripped.” When we both know what you wanted to say: “You all want to kill me. I can smell the hate from up here.” Sometimes I feel as an artist that the only safe place I have is up here on this stage with this award, yet tomorrow I will have to walk the streets alone among savages and dogs. Jennifer, you and I are safe up here. But for how long? For … how … long?
Ben Affleck said when earning his producing award for Argo that you can’t hold grudges when you’re in Hollywood. How right he was. You must not ever show people all the horrible grudges you hold. You must instead hold them in until they make you sick with ague-y tendons and malignant formations in your pancreas. You must turn those grudges instead into fantasy on paper–specifically the fantasy of watching your enemies die in horrendous pain and bloodshed while suffering the beatings, fistings, garrotings and other degradations of Salo. You must put these fantasies on paper, waiting like a crouching tiger until the day you can make them real. Yes, right on the money, Ben Affleck. Believe me, frere, I know exactly how you feel after your Oscar snub, the pain like a fresco of freshly painted coral sticking to the insides of your stomach muscles. Yes, no grudges. Wink!
So yes, Academy, now I thank you. I thank you vile pigs for the validation that can no longer nourish me because it is too late in coming and can only sustain me the way eating pieces of notebook paper sustains an anemic. Yes, Academy, please honor me now and pretend that it is the sum of pain and humiliation and tawdry nights of loveless intercourse with streetwalkers. This is my valediction. Ang Lee says namaste, but I say kiss my boots you worms. All of you bow down and feel the sole of it on your neck and then watch me stick your patronizing Oscar up your effete Range Rover driving asses! I take your love and hand it back to you as abuse! How do you like that? Fuck this award! Fuck it!
Also, I’d like to thank Harvey Weinstein and Sid Sheinberg.