Throwback Oscars moments we still can't stop talking about

Spike Lee's Oscar; Leonardo DiCaprio's win; Ellen DeGeneres' selfie

ByDanny Clemens KGO logo
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Throwback Oscars moments we still can't stop talking about
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From Ellen's Oscars selfie to Leonardo DiCaprio's long-awaited first win, here's a look back at some of the show-stopping Oscars moments from the past few years.

LOS ANGELES -- As we've seen time and time again, anything can happen during the Oscars! As we gear up for Oscar Sunday on ABC on Sunday, April 25, here's a look back at some of the show-stopping Oscars moments from the past few years that we still can't stop talking about.

2019: Spike Lee wins his first competitive Oscar

It was a long time coming when legendary director Spike Lee, with decades of experience and dozens of films under his belt, won his first competitive Oscar in 2019. Lee, along with Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott, won for best adapted screenplay for "BlacKkKlansman."

"Before the world tonight, I give praise to the ancestors who built this country," Lee said during his acceptance speech. "We all connect with our ancestors who will have love, wisdom regained. We'll regain our humanity, it will be a powerful moment."

He concluded by calling on the world to "make the moral choice between love versus hate. Let's do the right thing!"

Lee had previously been nominated in 1990 and 1998 and was given a non-competitive Academy Honorary Award in 2015.

Click here to see a full list of 2021 Oscar nominees

David Fincher's "Mank" led nominations to the 93rd Oscars with 10 nods, and for the first time, two women - Chloé Zhao and Emerald Fennell - were nominated for best director. Here's a look at nominees in key categories.

2018: Frances McDormand honors female nominees during acceptance speech

While accepting her best leading actress Oscar for "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri," Frances McDormand set her Oscar down on the stage floor and asked every female nominee in the audience to stand: "The actors...the filmmakers, the producers, the directors, the writers, the cinematographers, the composers, the songwriters, the designers."

"Meryl, if you do it, everybody else will," McDormand quipped.

"Look around, ladies and gentlemen, because we all have stories to tell and projects we need financed. Don't talk to us about it at the parties tonight, invite us into your office in a couple of days...and we'll tell you all about them," McDormand said.

She then encouraged those in the room to push for an inclusion rider, a contractual stipulation that ensures diversity in the hiring process.

By the end of the night, "inclusion rider" was among the most-searched terms on the Merriam-Webster website.

2017: Jimmy Kimmel and Matt Damon's (faux) feud rages on

What better time for Jimmy Kimmel to add fuel to the fire of his good-hearted feud with Matt Damon than during his Oscars opening monologue?

Discussing the divisive nature of the recent presidential election during his first turn as Oscars host in 2017, Kimmel said he wanted to make good with somebody he's had issues with: Damon.

When it comes to "healing and bringing people together," Kimmel said, it "starts with us."

Kimmel zinged Damon as "a selfish person" but joked that Damon did something very unselfish by passing on the chance to star in "Manchester by the Sea," a role that eventually landed Casey Affleck a best leading actor win. Damon instead starred in "The Great Wall," a film that Kimmel said "went on to lose $80 million."

2016: Leonardo DiCaprio finally wins an Oscar

It might be hard to believe that Leonardo DiCaprio didn't win an Oscar for his touching portrayal of Jack Dawson in "Titanic," but alas -- it wasn't his time yet. In fact, his time wouldn't come for nearly 20 years: DiCaprio didn't win his first Oscar until 2016 when he was honored for his portrayal of Hugh Glass in "The Revenant."

DiCaprio, who received a standing ovation from the audience, used the end of his acceptance speech to raise awareness about climate change: "It is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating."

"Let us not take this planet for granted. I do not take tonight for granted," DiCaprio concluded.

He had previously been nominated in 1994, 2005, 2007 and 2014.

2015: Lady Gaga channels Julie Andrews in the 50th anniversary tribute to "The Sound of Music"

The hills were alive at the 87th Oscars in 2015 as Lady Gaga belted out a show-stopping tribute to "The Sound of Music" in honor of the film's 50th anniversary. Gaga's medley included "The Sound of Music," "My Favorite Things," "Edelweiss" and "Climb Ev'ry Mountain."

Lady Gaga channels Julie Andrews in the 50th anniversary tribute of 'The Sound of Music'

After a standing ovation, Gaga welcomed Julie Andrews to the stage to present the next award for best original score. Andrews said Gaga's tribute "really warmed my heart" and then reflected on her experiences making "that joyous film."

"How lucky can a girl get?" Andrews beamed.

2014: The star-studded Oscars selfie seen around the world

If there's one place where you're bound to find all of Hollywood's biggest names, it's the Oscars -- and 2014 Oscars host Ellen DeGeneres wasn't about to let the moment go unnoticed. DeGeneres said during the show that she wanted to break the record for most-retweeted photo, so she summoned her celebrity friends and handed a phone off to Bradley Cooper to snap the selfie seen around the world.

In addition to DeGeneres and Cooper, the A-list selfie featured Meryl Streep, Channing Tatum, Lupita Nyong'O, Peter Nyong'O, Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Lawrence, Kevin Spacey and half of Jared Leto's face.

On Twitter after the show, DeGeneres called the shot the"best photo ever" and quipped that more celebrities could have fit into the frame "if only Bradley's arm was longer."

Her tweet has since earned millions of likes and retweets and held the record for most-retweeted tweet for nearly three years.

Mark your calendars: April 25 is Oscar Sunday. Live coverage begins Sunday morning and continues all day with special "On The Red Carpet" coverage leading up to the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony. After the last award is handed out, stay with "On The Red Carpet" for continuing coverage. Be sure to follow @OnTheRedCarpet on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok for all your Oscar news and information.