Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Oscar Stunner: ' Spotlight' Shines

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Oscar Stunner: ' Spotlight' Shines

Article excerpt

"Spotlight" grabbed the spotlight at Sunday's Oscars ceremony. The drama about a child-abuse scandal inside Boston's Roman Catholic community snagged the Best Picture brass ring from the predicted winner, Alejandro Inarritu's "The Revenant."

The "Revenant" won a total of three awards, including a best actor Oscar -- his first -- for Hollywood stalwart Leonardo DiCaprio, and a second-consecutive-year best director win for the Mexican-born Alejandro Inarritu, who won along with his film last year for "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)."

The night, though, belonged to host Chris Rock, whose much anticipated opening monologue left few disappointed. He confronted head-on the uproar over the lack of diversity in this year's nominees, and returned to the topic throughout the show. ("We're black," he said after a commercial break.)

"Mad Max: Fury Road" took home the most trophies, winning six for film editing, costume design, makeup and hairstyling, sound mixing, sound editing and production design.

Roundly acclaimed for its old-school craft, George Miller's "Mad Max" exploded with six awards in technical categories for editing, makeup, production design, sound editing, sound mixing and costume design. It was the evening's most awarded film.

"Us Mad Maxes are doing OK tonight," said editor Margaret Sixel, who's also George Miller's wife. The flurry of wins brought a parade of Australian craftsmen onstage, including sound editor Mark Mangini, who celebrated with a loud expletive.

Brie Larson took home best actress for her portrayal of a mother struggling to raise her son in captivity. Larson won for "Room," in which she plays a woman who gives birth to a son after being kidnapped and held captive for years. It was the 26-yearold actress's first Oscar nomination. She also won Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards.

Emmanuel "Chivo" Lubezki won for cinematography for the third year in a row. The Mexican filmmaker won for his work on "The Revenant," his second win for work with Inarritu. Lubezki won last year for Inarritu's film "Birdman" and won in 2014 for "Gravity."

There were few surprises Sunday, but the supporting actor win for Rylance drew gasps. Stallone, nominated a second time 39 years later for the role of Rocky Balboa, had been expected to win his first acting Oscar. But he instead lost to the famed stage actor who costarred in Steven Spielberg's "Bridge of Spies."

Best supporting actress went Alicia Vikander for the transgender pioneer tale "The Danish Girl." Best original screenplay went to the newsroom drama "Spotlight," an ode to hard-nose, methodical investigative journalism penned by Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer. Backstage, a cord froma light suddenly fell behind the winners, prompting McCarthy -- whose film shows the discovery of extensive sex abuse by Catholic priests -- to exclaim in mock paranoia:

"That is the power of the Catholic Church, ladies and gentlemen! …

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