The Oscars 2016: the surprises, awkward moments, and full list of winners

Plus: bizarre jokes and the #OscarsSoWhite race controversy.

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The 88th Academy Awards brought a night of surprises. Despite being the favourite to pick up the most awards of the evening, The Revenant lost out to Spotlight for Best Picture, while Mad Max: Fury Road had the most wins, taking home six awards, including those for Sound Editing and Mixing, Costume, Makeup and Production Design, and Film Editing. 

No one film dominated the “Big Five” (Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, and Screenplay) awards, and unusually, two different films won Best Director and Best Picture, with The Revenant’s Alejandro González Iñárritu receiving the award for directing for the second year running. 

Other unexpected wins included Mark Rylance for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, beating competition from favourite Sylvester Stallone.

Some awards went to more expected recipients: Leonardo DiCaprio put an end to two years’ worth of Sad Leo jokes by taking home the Best Actor award, and favourite Brie Larson was awarded Best Actress for her performance in Room.

The full list of winners is as follows:

Best Picture: Spotlight
Best Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant
Actor in a Lead Role: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Actress in a Lead Role: Brie Larson, Room
Actor in a Supporting Role: Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Actress in a Supporting Role: Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
Adapted Screenplay: The Big Short, Charles Randolph and Adam McKay
Original Screenplay: Spotlight, Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy
Original Score: The Hateful Eight, Ennio Morricone
Original Song: Writing's on the Wall, Spectre, Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith
Best Foreign Language Film: Son of Saul
Live Action Short Film: Stutterer, Benjamin Cleary and Serena Armitage
Documentary Feature: Amy, Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees
Documentary Short Subject: A Girl in the River, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
Animated Feature Film: Inside Out
Animated Short Film: Bear Story
Film Editing: Mad Max: Fury Road, Margaret Sixel
Cinematography: The Revenant, Emmanuel Lubezki
Costume Design: Mad Max: Fury Road, Jenny Beavan
Sound Mixing: Mad Max: Fury Road
Sound Editing: Mad Max: Fury Road
Makeup and Hairstyling: Mad Max: Fury Road
Production Design: Mad Max: Fury Road
Visual Effects: Ex Machina

It was a good night for British winners, with Ex Machina, Amy and Sam Smith all earning awards.

The ceremony was shrouded in controversy yet again this year for its lack of diversity, with a vast majority of white nominees, something host Chris Rock tackled head-on. His opening monologue began, “I’m here at the Academy Awards, otherwise known as the White People’s Choice Awards.”

He continued by pointing out that much of Hollywood is populated by outwardly liberal individuals:

“You see all these writers and producers and actors? They don’t hire black people, and they’re the nicest, white people on earth! They’re liberals! [...] Is Hollywood racist? You’re damn right Hollywood is racist. But it ain’t that racist that you’ve grown accustomed to. Hollywood is sorority racist. It’s like, ‘We like you Rhonda, but you’re not a Kappa.’”

Rock also commented on the racism of police brutality when he joked, “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.”

Kevin Hart and Alejandro González Iñárritu also used their time on stage to criticise the whiteness of the awards, while Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the president of the Academy, gave a speech that stated, “Our audiences are global and rich in diversity, and every facet of our industry should be as well.”

But Rock added that, on the topic of diversity, “people went mad” this year. “I’m sure there were no black [in] ‘62 or ‘63, and black people did not protest. Why? Because we had real things to protest at the time, you know? We had real things to protest; you know, we’re too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won best cinematographer."

He poked fun at Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, saying, “Jada says she not coming, protesting. I’m like ain’t she on a TV show? Jada is going to boycott the Oscars — Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited.”

Rock also received criticisms of hypocrisy for a joke that invoked stereotypes about Asians being good at maths: three Asian children were introduced as PricewaterhouseCoopers accountants.

Race wasn’t the only issue tackled during the ceremony: Lady Gaga brought rape survivors on stage during her performance, and was introduced by Joe Biden, who promoted the campaign to end sexual assault on campuses: It’s On Us. Sam Smith made the incorrect assertion (via a misquote of Ian McKellen) that he was the first openly gay man to win an Oscar, but dedicated his award to LGBT people around the world.

Leonardo DiCaprio used his speech to address global warming. “Climate change is real,” he said. “It is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species and we need to work together and stop.” It was a sentiment echoed by Costume Designer Jenny Beavan, who, while accepting her Oscar for costume design, said Mad Max: Fury Road could be “horribly prophetic” if we don’t “stop polluting our atmosphere.”

The bizarre evening also featured a parade of Girl Scouts, a very awkward Stacey Dash appearance, a callback to 2001 with a bit from Ali G, and impeccable cuteness from Jacob Tremblay and Abraham Attah.

Now listen to Helen Lewis and Stephen Bush discuss their Oscar highs and lows with the SRSLY Podcast's Anna Leszkiewicz...

Anna Leszkiewicz is culture editor of the New Statesman.