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Two Hollywood A-listers both won major Academy Awards on Sunday but had remarkably different nights. One could do no right (Anne Hathaway) and one could do no wrong (Jennifer Lawrence). Peter Scowen explores a tale of two Oscar winners

JENNIFER LAWRENCE What went right: Won the Oscar for best actress for Silver Linings Playbook.

Chris Pizzello/The Associated Press

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Then what? On hearing that she had won, she headed onstage but caught a foot on her oversized ball gown and fell. She recovered and delivered a short, breathless speech, punctuated by amateurish gulping noises indicating surprise, in which she thanked her public relations team and her fellow actors but totally failed to thank the film’s director, David O. Russell, and, above all, its powerful producer, Harvey Weinstein. This was followed by an equally amateurish question-and-answer session with the press, which trended online and had fans and non-fans alike applauding her lack of pretension.


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What she issued an apology for: Failing to thank Russell and Weinstein. “I will never be able to forgive myself for such a brain fart, but I hope that you both can,” she said.


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Upshot: She delivered a speech in which she was overly dramatic and out of breath, and which verged on insulting by the standards of the genre, and everyone loved her because they somehow believed that she wasn’t acting.

Jordan Strauss

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Story continues below advertisement

Advice: You get one shot at genuinely being the naive ingenue. Don’t attempt it again just because it worked this time.

Jordan Strauss

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ANNE HATHAWAY What went right: Won the Oscar for best supporting actress for Les Misérables.


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Then what? On hearing that she had won, she gracefully walked onstage in a beautiful Prada dress and gave a garden-variety but professional awards-show speech in which she credited by name the many people who had helped her win and movingly told her husband how much she loved him. This followed an acceptance speech at the Golden Globes that was widely criticized for its calculated and inauthentic surprise.


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What she issued an apology for: Wearing the Prada dress instead of a Valentino number, embarrassing Valentino because it had issued a release boasting that she was wearing their frock. “I deeply regret any disappointment caused,” she said.


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Upshot: Despite her professionalism and the unanimous consent about the quality of her performance in Les Misérables, she was pilloried for delivering an acceptance speech that was yet again obviously rehearsed – this time in an attempt to increase her likeability. She said she rehearsed her speech only because she had been accused of “acting” overly dramatic and out of breath when she accepted the Golden Globe and BAFTA for the same role.

Matt Sayles/The Associated Press

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