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Tags: oscars | spotlight

'Spotlight' Wins Oscar Upset in Ceremony Dominated by Race

'Spotlight' Wins Oscar Upset in Ceremony Dominated by Race
Josh Singer, left, and Tom McCarthy, winners of the award for best original screenplay for “Spotlight”, attend the Governors Ball after the Oscars on Sunday. The movie also won Best Picture in an upset for 'The Revenant.'

Monday, 29 February 2016 06:19 AM

“Spotlight,” the story of the Boston journalists who exposed child abuse in the Catholic Church, was crowned best film of 2015 in an Oscars ceremony that saw host Chris Rock skewer Hollywood for its second-straight year of all- white acting nominees.

Leonardo DiCaprio captured the award for best actor for his role as a frontiersman in “The Revenant,” while Brie Larson won best actress for her role in “Room,” about a young mother held captive, as the 88th Academy Awards were handed out Sunday in a live broadcast on Walt Disney Co.’s ABC network from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Alejandro González Iñárritu won the award for best director for “The Revenant,” his second straight victory in the category after “Birdman” a year ago.

Until “Spotlight” grabbed the top honor, the ceremony looked to become a victory lap for favorites, with top awards going largely to pictures touted by critics and oddsmakers. “The Revenant’’ was seen as likely best picture because of the grueling shoot by Iñárritu and DiCaprio’s performance as a vengeance-seeking fur trader. Yet academy voters chose “Spotlight,” about the Boston Globe journalists who reported on the Catholic Church’s cover-up of pedophile priests.

“The members recognized the importance of this film -- that speaks volumes of this filmmaking community,” Blye Pagon Faust, one of the producers of “Spotlight,” said backstage afterward. Earlier from the stage, she called out journalists and the need to support the investigative work they do. “They effect global change,” she said.

Spotlight Cast

“Spotlight” features Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams as the journalists who exposed the complicity of the Catholic Church in the pedophile priest scandal. The movie, directed and co-written by Tom McCarthy, is being distributed by Open Road Films, a joint venture between Regal Entertainment Group and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., the two biggest theater owners. Ruffalo was nominated for his supporting role as the reporter Mike Rezendes, and McAdams for her supporting role as reporter Sacha Pfeiffer.

“‘Spotlight’ proved that while it may not have been as showy as ‘The Revenant’ it was the film that most resonated,” Erik Davies, managing editor of the ticket-selling website Fandango, said by e-mail. “And with this win, ‘Spotlight’ will most assuredly go down as one of the best movies ever made about journalism.”

As host, Rock tackled the Oscars’ diversity problem head on, opening the telecast with a few barbs at this year’s nominees and the lack of serious leading roles for blacks.

“I’m here at the Academy Awards, otherwise known as the white people’s choice awards,” the comic actor, one of the best- known black comedians and entertainers in the U.S., said in his opening monologue. “This is the 88th Academy Awards. You gotta figure this all-white nominee thing has happened at least 71 other times.”

Recurring Theme

In one prerecorded segment, he interviewed filmgoers in the predominantly minority city of Compton, California, and asked them about the controversy. Many said they’d never heard of the best picture nominees.

ABC on Monday morning will release audience ratings for the program that will show whether the viewing public responded to Rock’s humor and efforts to call attention to racism in Hollywood, a community known for its liberal leanings and support of civil rights.

‘Mad Max’

The night’s ceremony delivered two other big winners. “Mad Max: Fury Road,” while not winning best picture, gathered six Academy Awards, the most of any film, for categories as diverse as costume design, sound and editing. The picture is from Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. film division. 

Emmanuel Lubezki won his third straight cinematography Oscar for “The Revenant.” He previously won for “Birdman,” last year’s best picture, and for “Gravity.”

The wins for “Spotlight” and “Mad Max” will pay off in home entertainment revenue, said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at researcher ComScore Inc.

In the supporting-actress category, the Oscar went to Alicia Vikander. She co-stars as the artist Gerda Wegener, the wife of one of the first men to undergo sexual reassignment, in “The Danish Girl.” The picture was distributed by Comcast Corp.’s Focus Features in the U.S.

The Oscar for best supporting actor went to Mark Rylance, a long shot win for his role as the Russian spy Rudolf Abel in Steven Spielberg’s Cold War thriller “Bridge of Spies.” Tom Hanks starred in the Disney-distributed film, based on the true story of lawyer James Donovan, who negotiates a prisoner swap for U2 pilot Francis Gary Powers, who was shot down while flying over the Soviet Union.

 

© Copyright 2022 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.


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"Spotlight," the story of the Boston journalists who exposed child abuse in the Catholic Church, was crowned best film of 2015 in an Oscars ceremony that saw host Chris Rock skewer Hollywood for its second-straight year of all- white acting nominees.Leonardo DiCaprio...
oscars, spotlight
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2016-19-29
Monday, 29 February 2016 06:19 AM
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