5 Of The Most Heartwarming + Inspiring Moments At The 2014 Oscars

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What a night! Ellen DeGeneres passed around pizza to a hungry audience, our favorite stars took a record-breaking selfie, and there were so many pro-social moments our heads were spinning!

Here are the top 5 moments that had us cheering during last night’s the 86th Academy Awards:

+ Ellen Wants Kids to Stay in School

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In her opening, DeGeneres made it clear that education should be the top priority for kids watching at home. After joking that everyone in the audience had a combined six years of college education, the hilarious host recommended that everyone “stay in school.”

It was also a big night for six aspiring film students as they were honored on stage — and introduced by Channing Tatum, no less! — for winning the “Team Oscar” college search.

+ Jared Leto Gives (Maybe) the Best Speech Ever

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It was a hugely successful night for the “Dallas Buyers Club” boys. Matthew McConaughey took home the award for Best Actor while Jared Leto picked up the golden statue for Best Supporting Actor.

In his moving speech, Leto started off by thanking his mom, saying, “In 1971 Bossier City, LA, there was a teenage girl who was pregnant with her second child. She was a high school dropout and a single mom. … She encouraged her kids to be creative, to work hard, and to do something special. That girl is my mother, and she’s here tonight. I just want to say, I love you mom. Thank you for teaching me to dream.”

Leto continued by letting those suffering from the turmoil in Ukraine and Venezuela know that “we are here, and as you struggle to make your dreams happen, to live with the impossible, we’re thinking of you tonight.”  In a move Rayon would have been proud of, he closed with this: “To the entire Dallas Buyers Club, for the 36 million people who have lost the battle to AIDS and to those of you out there who have ever felt injustice because of who you are or who you love, tonight I stand here in front of the world with you and for you.”

+ Lupita Nyong’o Brings the World to Tears

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We said Leto maybe had the best speech of all time, but Lupita Nyong’o’s surely rivaled it. When her name was called, Nyong’o was in tears. Soon after, the rest of the world was following her cue. She hugged star after star as she made her way to stage, and when she stood in front of the microphone, we knew a history-making speech was headed our way.

The Oscar winner for Best Supporting Actress gave a touching speech, which she started by saying, “It doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else’s. And so I want to salute the spirit of Patsey for her guidance.” She closed with what is sure to be the line of the night: “When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.”

+ “Frozen” Song Winners Inspired by Daughters

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Husband and wife duo Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez gave what started out as one of the cutest speeches of the night — rhyming everyone’s names as they thanked them — when they accepted the Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Let It Go.” The speech quickly turned into one of the most poignant of the night, however. They thanked their daughters, saying that the song was “inspired by our love for you and the hope that you never let fear or shame keep you from celebrating the unique people that you are.”

+ Cate Blanchett Stands Up for Women in Film

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When the “Blue Jasmine” star took the stage to accept the statue for Best Actress, she immediately began thanking the women around her. As she winded down her thanks, the actress called out the people in Hollywood who still believe that “female films with women at the center” are “niche.” In fact, they’re not, and according to Blanchett — and box office sales — “audiences want to see them and, in fact, they earn money.” The Oscar winner aptly concluded her comments with, “The world is round, people!”

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Photos: (Getty)

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