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“Spotligh” wins top award, DiCaprio best actor at Oscars 2016

Leonardo DiCaprio

Los Angeles : “Spotlight”, a movie about the journalistic expose of Catholic church child sex abuse, won best picture while Leonardo DiCaprio walked away with the best actor trophy at the 88th Academy Awards, where host Chris Rock mocked racism in Hollywood with a biting monologue.

The Academy voters this year decided to scatter their love by awarding different films though George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road” swept in technical categories with six wins in editing, production design, sound editing, sound mixing, costume and makeup & hairstyle.

“Spotlight”, directed by Tom McCarthy, went home with the top award and best original screenplay trophy for Josh Singer and McCarthy.

“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,” producer Michael Sugar said in his acceptance speech.

DiCaprio, who many considered was long overdue for Oscar, predictably won the best actor trophy for “The Revenant” and took the opportunity to highlight climate issue.

“…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. I do not take tonight for granted,” DiCaprio, 41, said in lengthy speech.

Mexican helmer Alejandro Inarritu, who won his second consecutive directing Oscar for “The Revenant”, a year after winning it for “Birdman”, addressed the diversity issue, which has been at the centre of debate, 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.”

The film won its third Oscar for best cinematography. Brie Larson, a front-runner in the best actress category, bagged the trophy for her poignant portrayal of a woman trapped in a garden shade for years in “Room”.

“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 an extensive 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”

Rock, who put up with the pressure to boycott the hosting gig, not only addressed the racial discrimination in Hollywood but also spoke 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,” the host said.

“Big Short, about the financial crisis of 2007–2008 that was triggered by the build-up of the housing market and the credit bubble, 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 wh 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.

When told that he was not the first openly gay winner but late lyricist Howard Ashman, Smith said, “I should know him. We should date.”

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.

Rock’s sensitive yet funny speech, was one of the highlights of the Academy Awards, which has been facing the ire for lack of inclusion in its nominations, leading president Cheryl Boone Isaacs to make changes in its membership.

“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.

The Oscar stage turned a platform for stars too who voiced their opinion about issues like diversity, climate change and LGBT rights.

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