Chris Rock, Leo, surprise wins and the top ten moments from the 2016 Academy Awards

3. Leo finally wins! – Yes, this is the big news that we all saw coming but after 5 nominations, the man deserves it.  I for a long time have said he is one of our greatest living actors. I’m just surprised so many people agree.  He received a standing ovation, nailed his speech by being grateful yet passionately and eloquently talking about more important issues, and then hugged it out with his number one fan, TITANIC costar Kate Winslet.

Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant

2. Oscar Surprise – It is rare that the Academy Awards have any true surprises anymore and the 88th telecast was chalked full of them along with some truly worthy winners.

a. SPOTLIGHT wins Best Picture – An inspiring film that is culturally relevant. While it may not be as cinematic as THE REVENANT, it was a happy surprise to have the film open and close the show with a win.

b. EX MACHINA wins Best Special Effects – I literally cheered aloud when this upset occurred. It’s the lowest budget special effects film to win since ALIEN and it looked incredible.

c. THE HATEFUL EIGHT wins Best Score – Ennio Morricone who scored some classics (THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY, THE MISSION and THE UNTOUCHABLES), won his first Oscar at the age of 87, the oldest Oscar winner ever.

d. Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu repeats – Third person in history to win back to back Oscars in directing – BIRDMAN, THE REVENANT.

e. Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki threepeats – First ever to win three consecutive Oscars in cinematography – GRAVITY, BIRDMAN, THE REVENANT.

f. MAD MAX FURY ROAD wins 6 – Sweeping most of the technical awards, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD was the big winner of the night.


1. A Rockin’ Monologue – The lead story going into the Academy Awards was the #oscarsowhite controversy.  Chris Rock was able to put the situation in perspective making fun of both sides yet addressing the issue in a poignant manner. Going after the protester more than anything, yet clearly acknowledging that the Academy is racist, not in a lynch mob sort of way but more in a not inclusive sorority type of way. This bit sums it up best:

“Why all the protests this year? This is the 88th Academy Awards and I’m sure this has happened at least 71 times before. I’m sure there were years in the ’50s and ’60s where black people didn’t get nominated. But we had better things to protest. We were too busy getting raped and lynched to care who was up for best cinematographer. When your grandma is swinging from a tree, It’s kind of hard to worked up about best foreign film.” – Chris Rock

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