"Man on Wire," part thriller, part existential mood piece, told the story of how French acrobat Philippe Petit walked on a tightrope between the two towers of the World Trade Center in 1974. Director Marsh called Petit to the stage while accepting the award, and Petit duly sprinted up. After remarks by Marsh and producer Chinn, Petit announced "the shortest speech in Oscar history -- yes!" Continuing, he added, "I always break the rules, I break my own rules."
Petit then pulled a coin from his pocket, which he said had been given to him by fellow documentary nominee Werner Herzog. "You were right, we won," Petit noted, before making it seemingly disappear from his palm while adding, "so now it's time to thank the academy for believing in magic."