Patricia Arquette’s Oscar victory speech after winning Best Supporting Actress for her role in Boyhood proves why she’s good at her job. Arquette didn’t fake-humbly pretend she wasn’t going to win–she was prepared and she knew her lines when the spotlight shined. With an activist’s enthusiasm Arquette read a burning, thanks-filled, issue-rich speech that got Meryl Streep up cheering. Not just clapping, but shouting and pointing at Arquette, who’d just said:”It’s our time to have wage equality and equal rights for women once and for all.” Jennifer Lopez, sitting next to Streep, also went wild cheering.
Since Boyhood took more than a decade to film, Arquette had time to prepare. She probably thought she’d see more change in Hollywood–and elsewhere–on women’s rights during the time it took to complete the film. Not enough has happened, from Arquette’s viewpoint. And watching the sincere, raucous, gut reactions of Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez–who by all accounts have done well for themselves–just emphasizes how deep the equality problem goes. The equal pay stats are out there.