22 January 2019
Four of the best -- Mark Rylance, Brie Larson, Leonardo DiCaprio and Alicia Vikander -- enjoy a light moment backstage. Photo: Reuters
Four of the best -- Mark Rylance, Brie Larson, Leonardo DiCaprio and Alicia Vikander -- enjoy a light moment backstage. Photo: Reuters

DiCaprio shares top honors with Spotlight, Iñárritu

Oscar night largely held to the script, with highly touted nominees bagging top honors, but it was a visceral tale of suspected pedophiles in the Catholic Church that supplied the final drama.

Spotlight, the true story of Boston journalists who exposed child abuse in the Catholic Church, was crowned best picture.

Heavy favorite Leonardo DiCaprio took the best actor trophy and Alejandro González Iñárritu, his director in The Revenant, bagged his second straight best director award.

Brie Larson won best actress for her role in Room, a thriller about a young mother held captive.

The 88th Academy Awards ceremony, broadcast live on Walt Disney Co.’s ABC network from the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, was the perfect fodder for comedian Chris Rock’s stinging humor.

Rock relentlessly mocked the academy for its second straight year of all-white acting nominees, Bloomberg reports.

“I’m here at the Academy Awards, otherwise known as the white people’s choice awards,” Rock, one of the best-known black comedians and entertainers in the US, 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.”

DiCaprio, who was widely expected to win his first Oscar, captured the award for best actor for his role as a revenge-seeking frontiersman in The Revenant, which was seen as the strongest contender for best picture honors.

But academy voters chose Spotlight, a real-life drama about the Boston Globe journalists who reported on the Catholic Church’s cover-up of pedophile priests.

“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.”

Blye Pagon Faust, one of the producers of Spotlight, called out journalists from the stage and the need to support the investigative work they do.

“They effect global change,” she said.

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.

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 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.

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