- The Washington Times - Friday, February 20, 2015


For the 87th time, Hollywood elite will gather for the Academy Awards, and all the pomp, circumstance and pricey goody bags that goes with them. Then there are the speeches. Vocativ, a research-minded news organization, mined all 1,396 acceptance speeches from over the years to discover who the grateful stars cite in the aftermath.

“High up at the top of the list is director-cum-mogul Steven Spielberg, who has been thanked an outrageous 42 times,” followed by uber-producer Harvey Weinstein, thanked 34 times, directors James Cameron (28), George Lucas (23) and Peter Jackson (22), In sixth place is “God,” thanked 19 times by the winners, the researchers say.

“Sixth on the list is God, who’s never produced, directed or acted in a film, unless you think he was working through Morgan Freeman in Evan Almighty,” the study noted.

Rounding out the top-10 are screenplay writer Fran Walsh with 18 thank-yous, documentary film filmmaker Sheila Nevins (17), and directors Francis Ford Coppola and Barrie Osborne (16 each ) and Martin Scorsese (15).

Previous studies analyzing hundreds of Oscar speeches from the Associated Press and Slate also revealed that the Almighty was far down on the gratitude list - as in last place behind family, friends, officials, the Academy itself and the industry.

There are those actors who do give a shout-out to God from the glittering stage.

“First off, I want to thank God, because that’s who I look up to. He has graced my life with opportunities that I know are not of my hand or of any other human hand. He has shown me that it’s a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates,” actor Matthew McConaughey told the audience after receiving an for Best Actor for his work in “the Dallas Buyers Club” at the 2014 Academy Awards.

“In the words of the late Charlie Laughton who said, “When you’ve got God you’ve got a friend - and that friend is you,” he concluded.

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