The 88th Academy Awards were held in Hollywood on Sunday night and its host Chris Rock wasted no time in talking about the elephant in the room.
“This year things are going to be a little different at the Oscars,” Rock began the show, referencing the #OscarsSoWhite firestorm that has raged around the fact that there are no nominees of color in any of the major categories (for the second consecutive year). “This year the ‘In Memoriam’ package is just going to be black people who were shot by the cops on the way to the movies!”
He spoke aboutÂ the Oscars into perspective, declaring that Hollywood is racist, and pleading for more opportunity for actors of color.
“We had real things to protest,” Rock said, joking about why diversity at the Academy Awards has become a conversation only recently.Â “When your grandmother is swinging from a tree, it’s really hard to care about Best Documentary Foreign Short.”
However, it was not Rock, but Leonardo DiCaprio who stole the show as heÂ has finally took the Academy Award for best actor for his work in “The Revenant.”
Presenter Julianne Moore, who won best actress at last year’s awards, mafe a long pauseÂ before announcing the winner’sÂ name, as if to see if she could make time itself pause briefly in anticipation.
— Leonardo DiCaprio (@LeoDiCaprio) February 29, 2016
Calling Tom Hardy his â€śbrother in this endeavorâ€ť DiCaprio rushed to the scene to yhankÂ the team behind the movie that brought his the long desired statuette. In his acceptance speech the actor made all the way back to the beginning of his career to thank the people who got him there, including Martin Scorsese and my friends, â€śyou know who you are.â€ť And he makes room for a shout-out to environmental issues: â€śclimate change is real . . . it is the most urgent threat facing out entire species.â€ť
“The Revenant”Â was one of the big award winners of the night, with DiCaprio and director Alejandro G. Inarritu taking home awards in their respective Best Actor and Best Directing categories.
Inarritu, whose win meant three straight years of Mexican filmmakers winning best director, was one of the few winners to remark passionately on diversity in his acceptance speech.
â€śWhat a great opportunity for our generation to really liberate ourselves from all prejudice and this tribal thinking and to make sure for once and forever that the color of our skin becomes as irrelevant as the length of our hair,â€ť said Inarritu.
Mark Rylance wonÂ the award for Best Supporting Actor over Sylvester Stallone for his work in Steven Spielberg’s “Bridge of Spies.”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”Â has become one of the biggest winners of the night, sweeping the technical categories and beating out stiff competition from films like “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “The Revenant.”
Best actress statuette was givenÂ to Brie Larson, the 26-year-old breakout of the mother-son captive drama “Room.”