Year: 2008 (81st) Academy Awards
Category: Documentary (Feature)
Film Title: Man on Wire
Winner: James Marsh and Simon Chinn (accompanied on stage by film subject Philippe Petit)
Presenter: Bill Maher
Date & Venue: February 22, 2009; Kodak Theatre
It doesn't feel right to be up here on my own, so, Philippe, you've got about twenty seconds to get up here. As you do, thank you to everyone who was in the film. Thank you to everyone who worked on the film. Thank you to my dear wife Anne Mette and my lovely daughters Anna May and Ida. This is for you, girls. Nothing's impossible.
Time is short but I want to thank my beautiful wife Lara, my two boys Haroun* and Jonah. May they continue to have big dreams, but may they please not do what this man does.
The shortest speech in Oscar history: Yes! But I always the break the rule, I break my own rules very quickly, and of course this film would have not been made without my Kathy. And also, Werner, I always carry the coin you gave me. And you were right, we won. So now it's time to thank the Academy for believing in magic.
[Ed. note: The film documents Petit's successful wire-walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in 1974. While on stage, Petit made the coin given to him by documentary nominee Werner Herzog disappear, and then balanced an upside-down Oscar statuette on his chin.] [*Name and spelling not confirmed.]
© Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
[Note: All winners are present except where noted; NOT all winners may have spoken.]