Happy Friday! I was watching Gilmore Girls this week where Rory gives her graduation speech, and that, and a conversation with Zoe, prompted me to compile this list today.
I’ve always read that people give speeches that move other people into action, or make them teary eyed and super emotional, but there aren’t many movies or shows that have actors/actresses strong enough to properly convey the emotion in a way that the speech becomes a powerful entity.
However, I’ve managed to come up with five speeches where the words, combined with excellent acting and setting, impressed me beyond belief and nearly made me cry.
Sherlock Holmes’ best man speech at Watson’s wedding
Benedict Cumberbatch is without a doubt the most perfect person to ever play Sherlock Holmes, a high honor since Robert Downey Jnr did a very decent job in the 2009 and 2011 Sherlock Holmes movies.
Sherlock’s Best Man speech starts off delightfully awkward, just like Sherlock himself. As the scene progresses, you start feeling vaguely uncomfortable and pity the bride, groom and guests alike. Then Sherlock stuns the crowd with a moving tribute to Watson’s character, words kinder than anything Sherlock has ever uttered in his life.
It is beyond a doubt one of the best scenes I’ve ever seen in a show. It’s so unexpected and emotional, beautifully spoken in Cumberbatch’s amazing voice, and so appropriate for someone who has gone through and seen what Watson has seen.
Theoden’s speech at the Ride of the Rohirrim
I’ve referenced this scene many, many times as one the greatest scenes of all times. I can’t watch it without having goosebumps or wanting to jump on my own horse(I don’t have a horse) and go fight some Orcs. Bernard Hill did a phenomenal job in his portrayal of Theoden. Theoden has a sad and moving story: he has always felt that he is not worthy to be amongst his great forefathers; he has spent too much time listening to Wormtail’s lies and lost his son on the battlefield. When Gandalf arrives in Rohan, Theoden is a ghost of a man he once was. With Gandalf’s force help, he manages to shake Saruman’s hold on him, acknowledges his power and the loyalty he owes Gondor, and becomes the King he has always been destined to be.
Theodentakes his men through numerous battles and finally rides to the aid of Minas Tirith, under attack from Sauron’s fleet. As his party arrives grossly outnumbered to the orcs, Theoden gives the speech he has been born to give: giving his men courage brutality and death to help their friends.
Aragorn’s speech at the Black Gates
Lord of the Rings is obviously a trilogy with great speeches and epic moments, and this scene also stood out for me: Aragorn taking his small party to the Black Gates to lure Sauron’s eyes away from Mordor, where Sam and Frodo are desperately trying to fulfil their quest.
Rory Gilmore’s graduation speech
Yes, this one might be vastly inferior to those previously mentioned, but I loved the speech Rory gave at her farewell. The entire episode has Rory stressed out and overworked, she is snappy with absolutely everyone, she has just heard that Dean is getting married and that Jesse left Stars Hollow without even saying goodbye or giving an explanation. She’s valedictorian but she’s not even feeling the pride that should accompany it because she has so much on her plate. Lorelai makes her realise what an achievement it is and when it is time for the speech, Rory thanks her grandparents and mother in such a way you can’t help but tear up. I thought it was unbearably sweet and with Luke and Jackson doing the ugly cry gave me a good chuckle. I think I particularly liked this scene because the only problem I’ve ever had with both Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel was that they didn’t really dotears very well.
Kat’s speech/poem in Ten Things I Hate About You
This last spot was a killer to fill. I had some ideas, but wanted the last one, even though it’s fifth on the list, to be worthy to stand with those that came before it. Kat’s interpretation of the poem they’ve been assigned is done so beautifully – she’s hurt because she’s found out Patrick was paid to take her out on dates just so that Bianca could date sleezeball Joey.
What are your favorite speeches? I’m sure I missed/forgot plenty of good ones, so let me know!