Some winners made history – Alejandro Inarritu, director of The Revenant, became just the third man ever to win back-to-back best director Oscars. The Mexican filmmaker gave this advice: “…liberate ourselves from all prejudice, and this tribal thinking, a make sure for once and forever that the color of the skin becomes as irrelevant as the length of our hair.”
And some winners were long-awaited. Revenant star Leonardo DiCaprio finally took home an Oscar, and connected the film to his environmental advocacy.
“Our production needed to move to the southern tip of this planet just to be able to find snow,” DiCaprio said. “Climate change is real – it is happening right now.”
The show also addressed the issue of sexual abuse, with a stirring performance by Lady Gaga singing the nominated song, ‘Til It Happens to You from the documentary The Hunting Ground.
And Spotlight, the true story of the Boston Globe reporters who uncovered sexual abuse by Catholic priests and the cover-up, took best original screenplay and best picture of the year.
“We made this film for all the journalists who have and continue to hold the powerful accountable, and for the survivors, whose courage and will to overcome is really an inspiration to all,” Spotlight director Tom McCarthy said.