The film “Spotlight” was named the best picture of the year at the 2016 Oscars ceremony.
Actor Leonardo DiCaprio of "The Revenant" and "Room" actress Brie Larson took the best actor and best actress Oscars, respectively, while actress Alicia Vikander of "The Danish Girl" and "Bridge of Spies" actor Mark Rylance won the best supporting actress and best supporting actor Oscars, respectively.
Alejandro G. Iñárritu won the Oscar for best director for his work on the film "The Revenant," commenting during his speech that he wished there would be a time in which "the color of the skin becomes as irrelevant as the length of our hair."
At the beginning of the show, host Chris Rock didn’t wait to address the controversy raised by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominating an all-white group of actors for the second year in a row.
“I counted at least 15 black people in that montage,” Rock said following an opening video segment of clips of films that were released in 2015.
The comedian then joked that the Oscars are “otherwise known as the White People’s Choice Awards.”
“We want opportunity,” Rock said during his opening monologue. “We want the black actors to get the same opportunities as white actors – that’s it. That’s it, you know? You know, not just once. Leo[nardo DiCaprio] gets a great part every year… but what about the black actors?”
Rock also commented on the continuing controversy over police brutality during his monologue.
“This year in the ‘In Memoriam’ package, it’s just going to be black people that were shot by the cops on their way to the movies,” he said.
Those behind the Oscars continued commenting on issues of race with video segments including one in which African-American actors like Whoopi Goldberg and Tracy Morgan were added to Oscar-nominated movies like “Joy” and “The Danish Girl.” Rock himself showed up as a “black astronaut” whom NASA staffers played by Jeff Daniels and Kristen Wiig decided against saving, unlike “Martian” protagonist Mark Watney (Matt Damon).
A later clip showed Rock talking with moviegoers in Compton about the lack of diversity among acting nominees and which Oscar-nominated films they'd seen. (Answer: not many of them.)
"You give black actors more awards because they deserve it and they work hard for it just like anybody else," one moviegoer said of the lack of actors of color who were nominated for Oscars.
As for the rest of the ceremony, artists including Lady Gaga, Sam Smith, and The Weeknd took to the stage to perform some of their Oscar-nominated songs. Gaga's song "If It Happens To You" appeared in the documentary "The Hunting Ground," which looked at sexual assault on college campuses, and Vice President Joe Biden appeared before Gaga's performance to discuss sexual assault and urge the audience to take action. "We must and we can change the culture so that no abused woman or man, like the survivors you will see tonight, ever feel they have to ask themselves, ‘What did I do?’" Biden said. "They did nothing wrong."
The best original song prize eventually went to Sam Smith's "Writing on the Wall," which appeared in the James Bond film "Spectre." Smith dedicated his Oscar to the LGBT community.
Meanwhile, the movie “Spotlight” won the Oscar for best original screenplay, while the film “The Big Short” took the Academy Award for best adapted screenplay.
The dystopian action film “Mad Max: Fury Road” took several tech awards, including best production design, best costume design, best film editing, best sound editing, best sound mixing, and best makeup and hairstyling.
The movie “The Revenant,” which told the true story of a wounded trapper trying to survive, won the Oscar for best cinematography, while the sci-fi tale “Ex Machina” took the Oscar for best visual effects.
In the animated categories, the movie "Inside Out" won the Academy Award for best animated feature, while "Bear Story" won the Oscar for best animated short film.
For documentary work, the film "A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness" won the prize for best documentary short, while the Amy Winehouse movie "Amy" won the Oscar for best documentary feature.
The Oscar for best live-action short film went to the movie "Stutterer," while the film "Son of Saul" won the Academy Award for best foreign language film.
Composer Ennio Morricone won the Oscar for best original score for his work on the film "The Hateful Eight."