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‘Spotlight’ and DiCaprio win big at Academy Awards

BY MACKENZIE LEVEQUE

PSA: Leonardo DiCaprio has finally won an Oscar.

If there is nothing else you gain from this article, rest in the knowledge that after six nominations, DiCaprio has finally done it. During the 2016 Academy Awards last night, DiCaprio won the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his work in “The Revenant,” after which he had to fit six movies worth of thank yous into one thirty second speech.

Nevertheless, viewers gained a rare smile from DiCaprio as he finally got his elusive award. For the rest of us, the best part of that is that everyone can stop making jokes about Leonardo DiCaprio not getting an Oscar.

Best Actress in a Leading Role went to Brie Larson for her role in the movie Room, who thanked the independent films for “going to the theater and seeing our films.”

She was joined by her tiny nine year-old co-star Jason Tremblay, who told paparazzi that the Oscars looked like “lots of legs” from his perspective.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role went to Mark Rylance for his work in the movie “Bridge of Spies,” while Best Actress in a Supporting Role was awarded to Alicia Vikander from the movie “The Danish Girl.” Both of these nominations were relatively surprising, as these actors beat out more well-known stars like Sylvester Stallone and Jennifer Lawrence.

Sam Smith became the second artist-preceded by Adele-to win an Oscar for a James Bond theme song with his original song “Writing’s On the Wall” from the movie “Spectre.” Although Smith won the award, it was Lady Gaga that brought the audience to tears with her song “Til It Happens to You” from the movie “The Hunting Ground.” The song and movie both deal with the topic of sexual assaults in college; the theme was magnified by the fact that Gaga was joined on stage by dozens of sexual assault survivors.

Her performance was introduced by Vice President Biden, who emphasized the importance of the It’s On Us program, a pledge and commitment to keep individuals from being sexually assaulted.

Another theme that was strong throughout the night was race, a predictable topic given the strong backlash to the lack of black actors in this year’s Oscar nominations. Chris Rock began the night by referring to it as “The White People’s Choice Awards” and claiming that if they had nominated a host, then he as a black performer would not have been there. He summarized by saying that there are bigger race issues than the Academy Awards, but that black individuals in the film industry simply want the same opportunities as their white counterparts.

“Mad Max: Fury Road” picked up seemingly endless awards: Best Costume Design, Best Editing, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Production Design, Best Sound Editing, and Best Sound Mixing. With all of these “best” components to the movie, “Mad Max” seemed an obvious choice for Best Picture as well. However, “Spotlight” surprised everyone by gaining the illustrious title in the last award of the night.

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Jonathan Soch

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