Awards season once again came to a conclusion at last night’s star-studded Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles.
In what was one of the closest Best Picture races in Oscar history, the main prize went to the journalism-based drama Spotlight as it overcame stern competition from The Big Short and The Revenant.
The film, which focuses on the Boston Globe’s investigation into child abuse at the hands of Catholic priests, only managed one other win in Best Original Screenplay for its writer and director Tom McCarthy. It became the first Best Picture winner since The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) to triumph with less than three accolades to its name.
Despite recent wins at the Golden Globes and BAFTAs, the vengeance thriller The Revenant had to settle for three gongs which included a long deserved (and easily predictable) Best Actor win for Leonardo Di-Caprio whose physically-demanding performance as explorer Hugh Glass finally landed him the little golden guy at the fifth attempt.
Brie Larson eased her way to the Best Actress prize for her powerful role as captured mother Joy in the indie drama Room while Swedish beauty Alicia Vikander beat off Kate Winslet to secure the Best Supporting Actress award for her portrayal of Gerda Wegener in the historical biopic The Danish Girl.
The biggest acting upset of the night came in Best Supporting Actor as British star Mark Rylance beat off sentimental favourite Sylvester Stallone (Creed) to win for his role as Soviet spy Rudolf Abel in Steven Spielberg’s Cold War drama Bridge of Spies.
Revenant filmmaker Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu became the first director in over sixty years to win back-t0-back Best Director accolades having previously succeeded the year before with Birdman. The film also landed a third consecutive Best Cinematography award for the brilliant Emmanuel Lubezki.
Elsewhere, the post-apocalyptic blockbuster Mad Max: Fury Road pulled off an impressive six technical wins for Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup & Hairstyling, Best Editing, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing.
The Big Short had to settle for a Best Adapted Screenplay accolade while veteran film composer Ennio Morricone finally landed his first Oscar for his work on the Quentin Tarantino western The Hateful Eight.
Pixar’s Inside Out easily clinched Best Animated Film with Hungary’s Son of Saul securing Best Foreign Language Film while the Amy Winehouse documentary Amy sealed victory in the Best Documentary category.
However there were a couple of surprise technical victories on the night as the sci-fi drama Ex Machina took home Best Visual Effects despite being a rank outsider for the award.
Another major upset came in Best Original Song as British songwriter Sam Smith landed the award for his soulful rendition of Writing’s On the Wall from the James Bond blockbuster Spectre. His victory came at the expense of Lady Gaga (The Hunting Ground) and The Weekend (Fifty Shades of Grey).
Disappointingly, some high profile films went home empty handed which included sci-fi blockbusters The Martian and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The latter though was a major presence throughout the show with director JJ Abrams and stars Daisy Ridley and Andy Serkis all on presenting duties. There was even a small segment featuring droid trio C-3PO, R2-D2 and newcomer BB8.
In what was his second gig as Oscar host, Chris Rock was risque as he tackled the Oscar diversity row on various occasions throughout but also poked fun at the likes of Will Smith and his wife Jada over their decision to boycott the ceremony.
The full list of Oscar winners are below:
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, THE REVENANT
Leonardo Di-Caprio, THE REVENANT
Brie Larson, ROOM
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Mark Rylance, BRIDGE OF SPIES
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Alicia Vikander, THE DANISH GIRL
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
SPOTLIGHT, Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
THE BIG SHORT, Adam McKay & Charles Randolph
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, Colin Gibson & Lisa Thompson
THE REVENANT, Emmanuel Lubezki
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, Jenny Beavan
BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, Lesley Vanderwalt & Damian Martin
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, Margaret Sixel
BEST SOUND EDITING
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD; Scott Hecker, Mark Mangini & David White
BEST SOUND MIXING
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD; Chris Jenkins, Ben Osmo & Gregg Rudloff
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
EX MACHINA; Mark Ardington, Sara Bennett, Paul Norris & Andrew Whitehurst
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
THE HATEFUL EIGHT, Ennio Morricone
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
SPECTRE, “Writing’s on the Wall”
BEST ANIMATED FILM
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
SON OF SAUL (Hungary), Lazlo Nemes
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
AMY, Asif Kapadia & James Gay-Rees
BEST DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECT)
A GIRL IN THE RIVER: THE PRICE OF FORGIVENESS, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
BEST SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)
BEAR STORY, Gabriel Osorio and Pato Escala
BEST SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)
STUTTERER, Benjamin Cleary & Serena Armitage