‘Don’t say La La Land’: Best Oscars quotes and jokes

A selection of the funniest and most touching moments from the 90th Academy Awards

“I’ve got some things to say”

Frances McDormand gave the most impassioned speech of the night. “If I fall over during my speech,” she began, “someone should pick me up because I’ve got some things to say.”

She went on to ask all of the women nominees on the evening to stand up, in a gesture that chimed with the theme of inclusion and diversity that ran through the evening.

She also bought worldwide attention to the concept of the “inclusion rider” – a contractual way for actors to insist on more diversity in the projects they are working on.

“Put the kettle on. I’m bringing Oscar home”

Gary Oldman paid tribute to his 98-year-old mother in his acceptance speech for best actor, telling her: "Thank you for your love and your support. Put the kettle on. I'm bringing Oscar home."


“These four men and Greta Gerwig”

Greta Gerwig was one of the few women ever to be nominated as best director – an award only one woman has ever won in Oscars history. And so Emma Stone very pointedly introduced the nominees as "These four men and Greta Gerwig".

“This is for my old buddy”

Sam Rockwell dedicated his best supporting actor award to "my old buddy" – the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. Later on in the evening, Rockwell explained that they were "very close … He inspired me and I could go on for an hour about Phil Hoffman".

“A country with a black leader, wouldn’t that be swell?”

The ceremony started with a Jimmy Kimmel voiceover that took several sideswipes at the Trump administration. Over a clip of Black Panther's Chadwick Boseman, Kimmel intoned "A country with a black leader, wouldn't that be swell?"

Pointing out that Boseman’s co-star Lupita Nyong’o, pictured in the Oscars audience, was Mexican-born and grew up in Kenya, Kimmel made another dig at Trump: Let the tweetstorm from the president’s toilet begin.

In praise of Dreamers

Also making a political point were Lupita Nyong'o and Kumail Nanjiani, who appeared together, joking about being actors with unpronouncable names. Nanjiani explained that his real name was Chris Pine. "You can imagine how annoyed I was when the white Chris Pine showed up," he said.

Lupita Nyong’o then spoke in praise of the “Dreamers”, those undocumented migrants who arrived in the USA as children and were given protection under the Daca act.

“We are dreamers. We grew up dreaming of one day working in movies. Dreams are the foundation of Hollywood. And dreams are the foundation of America.”

“And so to all the Dreamers out there, we stand with you,” added Nanjiani.

“Representation matters”

Lee Unkrich, co-director of Coco, also addressed representation and diversity.

“With Coco, we tried to take a step forward toward a world where all children can grow up seeing characters in movies that look and talk and live like they do. Marginalised people deserve to feel like they belong. Representation matters.”

Guillermo del Toro also spoke about immigration, saying “I am an immigrant. The greatest thing our art does and our industry does is to erase the lines in the sand. We should continue doing that when the world tells us to make them deeper.”

“I made a promise”

Rachel Shenton signed her speech after winning the award for best live action short for The Silent Child.

“I made a promise to our six-year-old lead actress that I’d sign this speech. My hands are shaking so I apologise. Our movie is about a deaf child being born into a world of silence. This is happening, millions of children all over the world live in silence.”

“Don’t say La La Land. Don’t say La La Land”

Star Wars actor Mark Hamill alluded to last year's monumental award mistake by muttering to himself "Don't say La La Land. Don't say La La Land" while opening the envelope to announce an award. Host Kimmel had also joked about last year's chaos in his opening monologue.

This year, when you hear your name called, don’t get up right away. Give us a minute.

#MeToo founder Tarana Burke on the absence of Harvey Weinstein

Tarana Burke, who coined the phrase “Me too” for sexual harassment and assault survivors in 2006, was a guest at the Oscars. In the run-up, she spoke about that fact that Harvey Weinstein would not be there.

“I have heard from actresses who’ve said, ‘You don’t understand how strange it is that he’s not here because [Weinstein] was ever-present.’ They were expressing a sense of relief at not having to see him and not having to pretend anymore. It feels like the veil has lifted.”

The Oscars is an entertainment show, though, and among all the #MeToo and #TimesUp there was room for some humour around the Hollywood sexual harassment scandal. Kimmel alluded to it several times, most notably with this joke about The Shape of Water:

Thanks to Guillermo del Toro, we will always remember this year as the year men screwed up so badly, women started dating fish.

“All my old friends are dead”

Christopher Plummer returned to the Oscars, having been nominated in the supporting actor category for All The Money In The World, an award he also won in 2011. Now 88, he had a different perspective to many others on the red carpet and attending the awards.

“It’s always different because times change all the time. Now there are so many young people, all my old friends are dead, they have either drunk themselves to death or they have naturally popped off the vine.”