29 Feb 2016

Spotlight, DiCaprio and Larson win top Oscars

7:28 pm on 29 February 2016

Spotlight has been named best picture at the 2016 Academy Awards, with Leonardo DiCaprio finally taking home the best actor gong.

Leonardo DiCaprio at the 2016 Oscars

Leonardo DiCaprio at the 2016 Oscars Photo: AFP

DiCaprio was widely tipped to win for his role in The Revenant, but Spotlight's win took many by surprise at the 88th Academy Awards at LA's Dolby Theatre.

DiCaprio received a standing ovation as he picked up his award, having had five acting nominations and one nomination as producer of best picture nominee Wolf of Wall Street.

He said making The Revenant was "about man's relationship to the natural world".

"Climate change is real - it is happening right now," he said. "It is the most urgent threat right now to our entire species and we need to work now.

"Let us not take this planet for granted. I do not take tonight for granted."

Mad Max: Fury Road, nominated for 10 Oscars, picked up six mainly technical awards, including one for Kiwi make-up and hair designer Lesley Vanderwalt.

Ms Vanderwalt told her friends and family back in New Zealand to "pop the corks" because she's bringing home gold from the Oscars.

The stylist drove a team of 35 producing the hairstyles, make-up and stuck-on body parts in Mad Max: Fury Road.

See how the 2016 Academy Awards went down with RNZ's live blog here

She shared the Oscar for best make-up and hair styling with Mad Max team members Damian Martin and Elka Wardega, who all spent seven months filming the post-apocalyptic action movie over seven months in Namibia.

Brie Larson

Brie Larson Photo: AFP

Brie Larson won best actress for Room and Alejandro Inarritu won the best director Oscar for The Revenant.

Inarritu said it was a "great opportunity to our generation to liberate ourselves from all prejudice", saying the colour of someone's skin should be "as irrelevant as the length of their hair".

It is the fourth Oscar for Inarritu, having won best director, best original screenplay (as co-writer) and best picture (as producer) for Birdman in 2015.

British actor Mark Rylance won his first Oscar for best supporting actor for Cold War drama Bridge of Spies.

Rylance, who won for his portrayal of Rudolf Abel, the real-life Soviet intelligence officer who was arrested in 1950s New York and prosecuted as a spy, said: "I've always just adored stories, hearing them, seeing them, being in them.

"So, for me to have the chance to work with one of the greatest storytellers of our time, Steven Spielberg, has just been such an honour."

Rylance, who beat off competition from Sylvester Stallone, Mark Ruffalo and fellow Brits Christian Bale and Tom Hardy, added: "It's a wonderful time to be an actor and I'm proud to be part of it."

Singer Sam Smith, who won the best original song Oscar for Writing's on the Wall, from Bond film Spectre, said he could not breathe as he picked up his award and told his fellow nominees they were "incredible".

He said: "I read an article by Sir Ian McKellen saying no openly gay man had ever won an Oscar.

"If this the case, even if this isn't the case, I'd like to dedicate this to all the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] community around the world.

"I stand here tonight as a proud gay man and I hope we can all stand together one day."

Alicia Vikander

Alicia Vikander Photo: AFP

Alicia Vikander won the best supporting actress Oscar for The Danish Girl.

The Swedish-born actress thanked her co-star, British actor Eddie Redmayne, and her parents, after winning her first Oscar, saying: "Eddie, thank you for being the best acting partner. I could never have done it without you. You raised my game.

"My mum and dad, thank you for giving me the belief that anything can happen - even though I would never have believed this."

She had faced competition from Kate Winslet, Rooney Mara, Rachel McAdams and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Amy film 'for fans'

Amy Winehouse documentary Amy won the best documentary feature Oscar for British filmmakers Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees.

Kapadia said of the late singer: "This film is about Amy and showing the world who she really was, not the tabloid persona. We just wanted to make a film to show the world who she really was."

Gay-Rees added: "This is for the fans who loved her through thick and thin, that's all she ever needed."

Composer Ennio Morricone won the Oscar for best original film score for The Hateful Eight. It is the first Oscar that the 87-year-old has won.

He dedicated the award to his wife, Maria.

Irish director Benjamin Cleary won the best live action short Oscar for Stutterer, which is about a man with a severe stammer.

The best foreign language film Oscar went to Hungarian film Son of Saul. It tells the story of a Jewish man forced to work at a Nazi death camp who seeks a proper religious burial for a boy who he believes is his son. It was Hungarian-French director Laszlo Nemes' first full-length film.

Emmanuel Lubezki won his third Oscar for cinematography in a row, having won in 2015 for Birdman and 2014 for Gravity.

Lady Gaga was given a standing ovation for her performance of Til it Happens to You from The Hunting Ground, for which she was nominated for best original song.

The singer, who was introduced by US vice president Joe Biden, was joined on stage by survivors of sexual abuse. Many of the audience members appeared to have been moved to tears by the song.

Smith, The Weeknd and Dave Grohl have also performed during the Hollywood ceremony.

Host Chris Rock at the 2016 Oscars

Host Chris Rock at the 2016 Oscars Photo: AFP

'Is Hollywood racist?'

The ceremony was boycotted by some Hollywood figures protesting about the lack of ethnic diversity among this year's nominees. All 20 nominees in the best acting or supporting acting categories are white.

Host Chris Rock launched the show by addressing the race controversy head on.

He commented he had "counted at least 15 black people" in the montage that opened the ceremony, before welcoming people to the "white People's Choice awards".

"You realise if they nominated hosts, I wouldn't even get this job," he quipped. "Y'all would be watching Neil Patrick Harris right now."

Rock added: "Everyone wants to know is Hollywood racist? You have to go at it the right way. Is it burning-cross racist? Fetch-me-some-lemonade racist? No.

"It's a different kind of racist. Is Hollywood racist? You're damn right it's racist but it's sorority racist."

All the winners:

Best Original Screenplay (Writing) - Spotlight

Best Adapted Screenplay (Writing) - The Big Short

Actress in Supporting Role - Alicia Vikander for The Danish Girl

Costume Design - Mad Max: Fury Road

Production Design - Mad Max: Fury Road

Makeup & Hairstyle - Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Cinematography - The Revenant

Best Film Editing - Mad Max: Fury Road

Sound Editing - Mad Max: Fury Road

Sound Making - Mad Max: Fury Road

Visual Effects - Ex Machina

Best Animated Feature Film - Inside Out

Actor in Supporting Role - Mark Rylance for Bridge of Spies

Documentary (Short Subject) - A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness

Best Documentary Feature - Amy

Live Action Short Film - Stutterer

Foreign Language Film - Son of Saul

Original Score - The Hateful Eight

Music (Original Song) - 'Writing's On The Wall', from Spectre, Sam Smith

Directing - The Revenant, Alejandro Inarriu

Actress in a Leading Role - Brie Larson, Room

Actor in a Leading Role - Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Best Picture - Spotlight