LEONARDO DiCaprio won his long-awaited first Oscar for revenge epic, “The Revenant” on Sunday, February 28, but journalism drama “Spotlight” took best picture in a surprising end to Hollywood’s glittering awards season.
The night was overshadowed by a simmering race row, addressed head-on by Chris Rock, a black host, who delivered a series of caustic jokes targeting the Academy’s overwhelmingly white male membership.
As well as DiCaprio’s best actor award, “The Revenant” picked up the statuettes for best director for Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu — his second in a row — as well as for best cinematography.
But “Spotlight,” a searing study of The Boston Globe’s investigation into child sex abuse in the Catholic Church, got best picture honours in one of the shocks of the 88th Academy Awards.
The film had only taken one other award — best original screenplay — and Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre gasped as a stunned cast and crew headed onstage to accept the trophy.
“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,” Michael Sugar, a co-producer, told the audience.
“Pope Francis, it’s time to protect the children and restore the faith.”
A defeat for “Creed” star and Tinseltown darling, Sylvester Stallone, was the other big surprise of the night, as he was snubbed for best supporting actor, with the trophy going against the odds to Britain’s Mark Rylance for “Bridge of Spies.”
George Miller’s stark action epic “Mad Max: Fury Road” was the big winner in the technical categories, taking home Oscars for best costumes, production design, make-up, film editing, sound editing and sound mixing.
DiCaprio’s success for his gruelling star turn as 19th century fur trapper Hugh Glass came 22 years after his first of four unsuccessful acting nominations. For the 41-year-old actor, the fifth time was a charm.
He thanked a long list of figures who have helped him in his career, including Martin Scorsese, a filmmaker, before speaking on his passion — 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 together and stop procrastinating,” DiCaprio said to applause.
Here is a complete list of winners at the 88th Academy Awards:
Best picture: Spotlight
Best actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Best actress: Brie Larson, Room
Best supporting actor: Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Best supporting actress: Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
Best director: Alejandro Iñárritu, The Revenant
Best original screenplay: Spotlight, by Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy
Best adapted screenplay: The Big Short, by Charles Randolph and Adam McKay
Best costume design: Mad Max: Fury Road, Jenny Beavan
Best production design: Mad Max: Fury Road, production design by Colin Gibson; set decoration by Lisa Thompson
Best makeup and hairstyling: Mad Max: Fury Road, Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega and Damian Martin
Best cinematography: The Revenant, Emmanuel Lubezki
Best film editing: Mad Max: Fury Road, Margaret Sixel
Best sound editing: Mad Max: Fury Road, Mark Mangini and David White
Best sound mixing: Mad Max: Fury Road, Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo
Best visual effects: Ex Machina, Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington and Sara Bennett
Best animated short film: Bear Story, Gabriel Osorio and Pato Escala
Best animated feature film: Inside Out, Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera
Best documentary, short subject: A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
Best documentary feature: Amy, Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees
Best live-action short film: Stutterer, Benjamin Cleary and Serena Armitage
Best foreign-language film: Son of Saul, Hungary
Best original song: Writing’s on the Wall from Spectre
Music and lyric by Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith
Best original score: The Hateful Eight, Ennio Morricone
— Feb 29, 2016 @ 11:00 GMT