The 2016 Award season reached its culmination at the glittering 88th Academy Awards ceremony, and as always, the best was saved for last.
The night began with Chris Rock's spectacular monologue, taking on #OscarssoWhite aka the lack of diversity at the Academy Awards on its head and ended with everyone's favourite Leonardo DiCaprio finally winning that elusive Oscar trophy. There were several expected and unexpected winners.
Here are our picks for the big winners at the 2016 Oscars.
Leonardo DiCaprio finally won that Oscar
A meme died today, and yet the internet collectively celebrated, because LEO FINALLY WON THAT OSCAR for The Revenant.
DiCaprio walked on stage to a standing ovation as he accepted the award -- one of the most highly anticipated moments of the night. He had been nominated six times in total, five of them for acting roles, DiCaprio won Best Actor for The Revenant, and he couldn't resist sharing it with planet Earth.
"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. We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters or the big corporations but for all people," he said after thanking all the people who got him here including his directors Alejandro Inarritu and Martin Scorsese.
It was a six for the biggest winner Mad Max: Fury Road
For several years, George Miller's Mad Max franchise had more of a cult following than award ceremony presence. despite critical acclaim. But Mad Max: Fury Road changed that for good.
Fury Road was the night's most-awarded film with not one but six wins in the technical categories, taking home Oscars for best costumes, production design, make-up, film editing, sound editing and sound mixing. The flurry of wins brought a parade of Australian craftsmen onstage in an Oscars that was at least internationally diverse.
The stunt-filled fourth installment of the Mad Max franchise which tells the story of a post-apocalyptic road warrior, played by Charlize Theron, who sets out to free the wives of a tyrannical warlord, was nominated in 10 categories including Best Film and Best Director.
Spotlight steals the limelight
The night started and ended with trophies for Spotlight.
Many hailed the 'surprise win' for the 'underdog' film but anyone who has seen 2016's best picture winner Spotlight, will tell you that the gritty drama deserves the accolades. The film also took home honors for best original screenplay, after earning a total of six nominations.
Spotlight chronicles The Boston Globe's investigation into sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and institutional efforts to cover up the crimes. The journalism drama, which boasts a star-studded ensemble cast including Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams, is based on a series of stories by the real "Spotlight" team that earned the paper a Pulitzer Prize in 2003.
Some observers felt it had peaked too soon when it failed to pick up any Golden Globes, but it has since been garlanded with top prizes including the acting ensemble trophy at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. But critics praised its graceful handling of its lurid subject matter and the Academy Awards seem to agree with it winning two of the biggest awards.
Pakistan's 'honour killings' film honoured
A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness, a documentary about a Pakistani girl shot in the face by her own family, won the Academy Award for best documentary short. The Oscar win was the second for director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, who recently met with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif amid the growing global spotlight on the film.
But the highlight was Obaid-Chinoy's strong words after winning her second trophy. "This is what happens when determined women get together," she said as she accepted the golden statuette. She praised "all the brave men out there, like my father and my husband, who push women to go to school and work and who want a more just society for women."
The film follows 19-year-old Saba, a survivor of an attempted honor killing who was beaten, shot and thrown into a river after she ran off to marry a man. At the last moment, she tilted her head, meaning the bullet grazed her cheek instead of shattering her skull. In a rarity for such attacks, she not only survived but went to police.
Ex Machina made its mark
Why does Ex Machina's Oscar for the Best visual effects matters?
Because it beat the heavyweight likes of Mad Max: Fury Road, the biggest winner of the night, the heavily nominated Ridley Scott offering The Martian, Best Director Innaritu's The Revenant and fan favourite sci-fi film Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Fun fact: It was made on a modest budget of 15 million. For comparison, The Force Awakens had a budget of 200 million, The Martian 108 million, Fury Road 15o million, 135 million of The Revenant.
The critically acclaimed film follows the ground-breaking experiment in synthetic intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breath-taking humanoid AI. It also stars Best Supporting Actress winner Alicia Vikander and Star Wars alumnus Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac.
Bonus point: Priyanka Chopra
Not all winners at the Oscars took home a trophy, like Priyanka Chopra who took Bollywood to the Oscars. Oh, and she also presented the Oscar in the Best Film Editing category to Mad Max: Fury Road along with Hollywood star Liev Schreiber, no biggie.
The Bollywood actress looked stunning in a white ensemble by Lebanese designer Zuhair Murad. She opted for a structured cage bustier mermaid dress in white silk tulle adorn with 3D shimmering climbing flowers for the ceremony, and completed the look with the shimmering diamond drop earrings and rings.
The former Miss World, who rose to fame when her ABC thriller, Quantico, premiered, has also presented at the Screen Actors Guild Awards and will next be seen in as a villain in Baywatch. You go, girl!
First Published On : Mar 1, 2016 10:07 IST