Oscar 2016: Spotlight best movie, Leonardo best actor

Oscar 2016: Spotlight best movie, Leonardo best actor
"Spotlight", a newspaper drama about the Catholic church's cover-up of child sex abuse, was today the surprise top winner at the 88th Academy Awards that was dominated by the diversity debate with host Chris Rock taking on Hollywood over racism in a biting monologue.

"The Revenant", which was widely expected to clinch the best picture trophy, lost it to "Spotlight" but earned its lead star Leonardo DiCaprio, 41, the best actor Oscar, two decades after his first nomination.

Its helmer Alejandro G Inarritu made history by becoming the first director since 1950 to repeat his win at Oscars. He won last year for "The Birdman". The film bagged its third trophy for cinematography.

The win for Tom McCarthy's "Spotlight", about the expose of sex child scandal in Catholic church by the spotlight team of the Boston Globe paper, was clearly one of the biggest upsets at the otherwise predictable ceremony.

"This film gave a voice to survivors. And this Oscar amplifies that voice, which we hope will become a choir that will resonate all the way to the Vatican," co-producer Michael Sugar said. McCarthy and Josh Singer also won the original screenplay.

"We made this film for all the journalists who have and continue to hold the powerful accountable and for the survivors whose courage and will to overcome is really an inspiration to all," the director said.

DiCaprio, whose Oscar win was the most tweeted moment of the ceremony, dedicated a large part of his speech to address climate change. "Climate change is real. It is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating... Let us not take this planet for granted," he said.

The Academy voters spread their acting awards to four different films. Brie Larson bagged the trophy for her moving portrayal of a woman kidnapped and kept in a garden shade in "Room" for years.

"I want to start big because the thing that I love about moviemaking is how many people it takes to make it," she said as she rushed through a list of 'thank yous'. Best supporting actress and actor trophies went to Alicia Vikander for "The Danish Girl" and British actor Mark Rylance for his role of a KGB spy in Cold War drama "Bridge of Spies".

George Miller may have lost the best director trophy to Inarritu but "Mad Max: Fury Road" swept in technical categories with six wins in editing, production design, sound editing, sound mixing, costume and makeup & hairstyle.

Diversity was the recurring theme at the event with Rock not only addressing the racial discrimination in Hollywood but also talking about police brutality against blacks. "Is Hollywood racist? You know, you have to go at that the right way. It is a different type of racist. You are damn right Hollywood's racist. Hollywood is sorority racist. But things are changing," Rock said, adding, "If they nominated hosts, I wouldn't even get this job."


Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs also took to stage to address the prickly topic."Our audiences are global and rich in diversity and every facet of our industry should be as well... inclusion makes us all stronger. It is not enough to just listen and agree, we must take action," Isaacs said.

Inarritu also addressed the diversity issue in his speech by invoking a dialogue from his movie.
"I am very lucky to be here tonight but unfortunately, many others haven't had the same luck...
"So what a great opportunity to our generation to really liberate ourselves from all prejudice and this tribal thinking, and make sure for once and forever that the color of the skin become as irrelevant as the length of our hair."

"Big Short, about the financial crisis of 2007–2008, emerged winner in the adapted screenplay category.Adam McKay and Charles Randolph won the Oscar trophy for adapting Michael Lewis book about a group of traders who realise about the upcoming economic collapse and decide to benefit from it.

Best foreign film Oscar went to Hungarian Holocaust-set drama "Son of Saul", which revolves around a Jewish prisoner working in the crematorium at Auschwitz. The film, directed by Laszlo Nemes, saw off competition from Colombia's "Embrace of the Serpent", France's "Mustang", Jordon's "Theeb" and Denmark's "A War".

Though India did not feature in the short-listed categories, the country got a representative in actress Priyanka Chopra, who presented the best editing Oscar with Liev Schreiber. Indo-British filmmaker Asif Kapadia won the best documentary award for "Amy", about talented British singer Amy Winehouse.

Sanjay Patel, another Indian-American nominated this year in animated short category, however, lost it to "Bear Story". Pakistani filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid won her second Oscar for "A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness", about an honour killing surviver. She first won the trophy for "Saving Face", about acid attack victims, in 2011.

Sam Smith won the best original song for "Writing's on the Wall" for Bond movie "Spectre" while original score went to "The Hateful Eight". Smith, in his speech, invoked LGBT rights.

"I read an article a few months ago by Sir Ian McKellen and he said that no openly gay man had ever won an Oscar, and if this is the case, even if it isn't the case, I want to dedicate this to the LGBT community all around the world.

"I stand here, I stand here tonight as a proud gay man and I hope we can all stand together as equals one day," he said. The best animated film Oscar went to popular Disney-Pixar movie "Inside Out". The best live action short film trophy was won by "Stutterer" and the visual effects gong went to "Ex Machina".

The Academy award ceremony saw attendance from US Vice President Joe Biden, who introduced Lady Gaga on stage for her performance on "Till It Happens to You" from "The Hunting Ground."
The ceremony, which awarded Oscar statuettes in 24 categories, had memorable performances from The Weeknd, Smith and Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, who paid tribute to the stars who recently passed away. Other than diversity, the Oscars also tackled climate change and LGBT rights.

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