"This award is the second most important thing about today because it's this man's birthday," said the filmmaker when he came onstage to accept the award.
A surprise birthday wish is something we all fancy, irrespective of our age. In a hilarious turn of events, the winners of the Short Film (Live Action) trophy at this year's Academy Awards paused between their winning speeches and sang "Happy Birthday" to the film's star, James Martin. Aw!! So sweet.
In the purest feel-good moment, filmmakers Tom Berkeley and Ross White accepted the award. But post delivering a few sentences as an acceptance speech, they mentioned it was star James Martin's birthday today. "This award is the second most important thing about today because it's this man's birthday," Berkely said as he came onstage after the movie's winning announcement. Berkely embraced Martin and said, "He's out here in Hollywood, wearing a leopard print suit jacket. We'd love to use the rest of our time up here to sing for James," reports The Independent. And the audience followed suit. The Oscars suddenly turned into a birthday party scene for Martin who has Down Syndrome, and the Internet fell in love.
The room erupted in song to wish actor James Martin a happy birthday after he won an Oscar for live action short film for 'An Irish Goodbye.' https://t.co/xuKKazr5e6— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 13, 2023
An Irish Goodbye set in Northern Ireland portrays two estranged brothers played by Martin and Seamus O'Hara. The plot unfolds as the brothers reunite after their mother's death, a role by Michelle Fairley. Martin played Lorcan (younger brother) in the film. The older brother, Turlough, played by Seamus O'Hara visits the family farm following their mother's death and forces his sibling (Martin) to go and live with their aunt.
The sensitive film won many recognitions across prestigious award ceremonies. Earlier this season, the film won at BAFTA Film Awards and was shot in Belfast. A category that included Disney's Le Pupille, directed by Alice Rohrwacher and produced by Alfonso Cuarón, has declared the film a winner.
People all over social media appreciated this gesture by Berkley and White. Los Angeles Times posted the heartwarming video on their Twitter handle and users gushed over the moment. A Twitter user, @laura021961, commented, "What a fabulous time for wee James Martin! Congratulations." Another user, @shmeze, declared it the best Oscar moment and wrote, "Without a doubt one of the nicest things I’ve ever seen at the Oscars Best Oscar Acceptance Speech Ever!"
The #Oscars audience wishes happy birthday to “An Irish Goodbye” star James Martin. https://t.co/O173fEk6t6 pic.twitter.com/Fn019NXeur— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) March 13, 2023
Spencer Althouse posted the video on his Twitter handle with a caption, "The guys who made An Irish Goodbye used their Oscar acceptance speech to have every A-lister in Hollywood sing Happy Birthday to their star, James Martin. iconic!" Under the video, @Shelaghl said, "Brilliant film just watched it in iPlayer. Well done."
A second Twitter user, @gem50, commented, "So great. 20 yrs ago a person with Down Syndrome would never have been given that space to show who they are and what they can accomplish. Congratulations and Happy Birthday, James."
the guys who made An Irish Goodbye used their Oscar acceptance speech to have every A-lister in Hollywood sing Happy Birthday to their star, James Martin. iconic! pic.twitter.com/J4LLHwMla3— Spencer Althouse (@SpencerAlthouse) March 13, 2023
James Friend, a cinematographer, referred to the moment and remarked, "It’s not my birthday, but it feels like it is," per The Independent. Everyone felt that way, as the energy was contagious.