Oscars Overview


Claire Leupp, Staff Writer

The 88th Academy Awards hosted some of the biggest stars of the latest movies, with the night going very well for Spotlight, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Leonardo DiCaprio. Sprinkled with the awards given to the best films of the year were also various political statements.

Chris Rock hosted the Oscars, and took aim at Hollywood’s diversity issues – a conversation that dominated the headlines after the Oscar nominations were announced last month.

For the second straight year, every acting nominee at the Oscars was white.

Leonardo DiCaprio finally received best actor for his performance in “The Revenant.” It was his fifth nomination for acting, and sixth nomination overall.                                                                           

In his acceptance speech DiCaprio said, “Making ‘The Revenant’ was about man’s relationship to the natural world.”

George Miller’s apocalyptic road warrior movie, Mad Max, scored six awards at Sunday’s Oscars; the most of the night. These awards included best editing, best costumes, best production design, best makeup and hairstyling, best sound editing, and best sound mixing.

It was a night of political statements: DiCaprio called out climate change in his speech and Lady Gaga turned her performance of “Til It Happens To You” (from The Hunting Ground) into a forceful protest against campus rape, victim shaming, and a culture that allows sexual violence to flourish.

Declaring himself “a proud gay man”, Sam Smith took home the Best Song Oscar for “The Writing’s On The Wall” (Spectre). He dedicated his award to the global LGBT community.

Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies) beat Sylvester Stallone (Creed) for best supporting actor, a stunner that denied a sentimental moment for the ages and cost Stallone his chance to win a statue.

The underdog, Ex Machina, beat Mad Max and Star Wars: The Force Awakens for Best Visual Effects.

Spotlight took home the biggest award of the night: Best Picture. The film, written by Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer, also won Best Original Screenplay.

Spotlight tells the story of how investigative reporters for the Boston Globe worked to expose sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests.

“This film gave a voice to survivors,” producer Michael Sugar said. “And this film amplifies that voice, which we hope will become a choir that will resonate all the way to the Vatican.”