88th Annual Academy Awards Results and Commentary (2016)

  • Date of Ceremony: Sunday, February 28, 2016
  • For films released in: 2015
  • Host(s): Chris Rock (video)
Other years:

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Welcome to DigitalHit’s coverage of the 88th Academy Awards which took place on February 28th, 2016.

8:30 PM

The show starts with a clip package of the year’s films.

8:33 PM

Oscar host Chris Rock takes to the stage. “I counted at least fifteen black people in that montage,” he said, unleashing a series of jokes touching on the #OscarsSoWhite controversy. Some of his best lines:

“You realize, if they nominated hosts, I wouldn’t even get this job.”

“People are like ‘Chris, you should boycott. Chris, you should quit.” How come it’s only unemployed people who tell you to quit something? I thought about quitting. I thought about it real hard. But I realized they’re going to have the Oscars anyway. They’re not going to cancel the Oscars ‘cause I quit. And the last thing I need is to lose another job to Kevin Hart.”

“Why are we protesting…the big question, why this Oscars? It’s the 88th Academy Awards. Which means this whole no black nominees thing has happened at least 71 other times. You gotta figure that it happened in the Fifties, the Sixties. In the Sixties, one of those years Sidney didn’t put out a movie. I’m sure there were no black nominees some of these years, like ’62, ’63. Black people did not protest. Why? Because we had real things to protest at the time. Too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won best cinematographer. When your grandmother’s swinging from a tree, it’s really hard to care about Best Documentary Foreign Short.”

“Jada went mad. Will went mad. Everybody went mad. Jada got mad? Jada said she’s not coming, protesting? Isn’t she on a TV show? Jada’s gonna boycott the Oscars? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited.”

“This year, things are going to be a little at the Oscars. This year, in the In Memoriam package, it’s just going to be black people that were shot by the cops on their way to the movies.”

8:44 PM

Emily Blunt and Charlize Theron are tonight’s first presenters. Tonight they say the show is following the path of a production, so they’re starting with the screenplay awards. The first award is Original Screenplay. And the Oscar goes to Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy for Spotlight.

“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. We have to do, make sure this never happens again.” – Tom McCarthy

8:49 PM

Moving right along, Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe are presenting Adapted Screenplay. And the Oscar goes to Charles Randolph and Adam McKay for The Big Short.

“Thank you to Michael Lewis for writing an amazing book that inspired Charles and I so much. Thank you to Paramount for taking a risk on a movie that’s about financial esoterica and believing in it. Thank you to my beautiful wife, Shira Piven, there she is. And my children, Lili Rose, my two daughters, Lili Rose and Pearl, I love you so much. Most of all, if you don’t want big money to control government, don’t vote for candidates that take money from big banks, oil or weirdo billionaires: Stop!” – Adam McKay

8:58 PM

Rock’s back. He introduces a clip that puts black actors into scenes from Joy, The Revenant, The Danish Girl, and The Martian. In the last flick, Kristen Wiig and Jeff Daniels decide that since it’s a black astronaut, they don’t need to save him. Rock then introduces Stacey Dash, the outspoken FOX News commentator, as the Academy’s “Diversity Outreach” person. This is the closest Dash will ever get to an Oscar.

9:02 PM

Sarah Silverman introduces the night’s first nominated song, “Writing’s on the Wall”, from Spectre. Before Sam Smith performs, Silverman goes on a rant about how bad in bed Bond is. “He’s neither a grower nor a shower,” she says.

9:06 PM

Chris introduces Kerry Washington and Henry Cavill. Henry introduces a clip from the Best Picture nominee, The Martian. Kerry then introduces the clip from The Big Short.

9:09 PM

J.K. Simmons, a winner last year for Whiplash, is now presenting Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role. And the Oscar goes to Alicia Vikander for The Danish Girl. It’s her first nomination and win.

“I want to thank Gail and Anne and Nina and Working Title and Focus and Tom. Where are you? My director. Thank you so much for your support and belief in me. And Eddie, there you are. Thank you for being the best acting partner. I couldn’t have done it without you. You raised my game.” – Alicia Vikander

9:18 PM

Rock introduces Cate Blanchett, who strolls through some costume dummies before presenting Costume Design. And the Oscar goes to Jenny Beavan for Mad Max: Fury Road.

“I just want to say one quite serious thing, I’ve been thinking about this a lot, but actually it could be horribly prophetic, Mad Max, if we’re not kinder to each other and if we don’t stop polluting our atmosphere, so you know, it could happen.” – Jenny Beavan

9:22 PM

Steve Carell and Tina Fey are presenting Achievement in Production Design. And the Oscar goes to Mad Max: Fury Road’s Colin Gibson [Production Design] and Lisa Thompson [Set Decoration].

“It never ceases to annoy me how many people it takes to make me look competent, so, uh. To get one of these, you got an idea of the multitudes, the multitudes of Australians, New Zealanders, Brits, Americans, South Africans, Namibians, who all came together under George’s vision to bring you a tale about a man with mental health issues, an amputee Amazon and five runaway sex slaves, so, uh. I’d like to chalk this one up as the first Oscar for diversity.” – Colin Gibson

9:25 PM

Margot Robbie and Jared Leto present Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling after strolling through a set of styrofoam busts with wigs on them. And the Oscar goes to Mad Max: Fury Road’s Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega and Damian Martin. Good night for Mad Max, which shows us what a post-Trump world might look like.

“Wow, amazing, you can pop the corks at home. We’re bringing home gold.” – Lesley Vanderwalt

9:29 PM

Benicio del Toro and Jennifer Garner are showing two more Best Picture nominee clips. First up, The Revenant. The second clip is from Mad Max: Fury Road.

9:35 PM

Rock introduces some of the real people portrayed in this year’s movies. The bit pays off with a fake Suge Knight in prison overalls.

9:36 PM

Rachel McAdams and Micheal B. Jordan are presenting Achievement in Cinematography. And the Oscar goes to Emmanuel Lubezki for The Revenant.

“I want to share it with the cast and crew, especially with my compadre, Mr. Iñárritu. To your passion, Alejandro. And I want to share this also with Leo and Tom, for their great performance.” – Emmanuel Lubezki

9:39 PM

Liev Schreiber and Priyanka Chopra discuss that after filming, the next step in filmmaking is post-production. So they’re presenting Film Editing. And the Oscar goes to Margaret Sixel for Mad Max: Fury Road.

“But honestly, it’s in the edit room that the final…that the film is finally forged. It’s the final rewrite, so I just want to salute my beloved picture department who are in Sydney, and all who work in post, who work with their hands, heads and most importantly, their hearts.” – Margaret Sixel

9:42 PM

Chris Rock introduces another #OscarsSoWhite bit, a film package about Black History Month that pays tribute to the whiter-than-white Jack Black.

9:47 PM

Chadwick Boseman and Chris Evans are now presenting Achievement in Sound Editing. And the Oscar goes to Mad Max: Fury Road’s Mark Mangini and David White.

“For thousands of years, we’ve been telling stories in the dark around a flickering light, whether a campfire or a projector. David and I do it with sound. George Miller would tell us “Mad Max” is a film we see with our ears.” – Mark Mangini

Boseman and Evans then present Achievement in Sound Mixing. And the Oscar goes to Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo for their work on Mad Max: Fury Road.

“First of all a big shout out to the Academy, thank you for all your support of our incredible creative craft. To our fellow nominees, we can’t say enough, we’re so proud to be in your company and we’re so proud to represent tonight. To George Miller, you’re the heart and soul of all this. We can’t say enough about you, thank you, thank you, thank you for giving us the opportunity.” – Chris Jenkins

9:54 PM

We get a look at Andy Serkis’ motion capture work before he strolls out to present Visual Effects. He says with motion capture one can play a “Megalomaniacal planet destroyer or Donald Trump…which isn’t much range.” And the Oscar goes to Ex Machina’s Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington and Sara Bennett.

“I’m really bad at predicting this, apparently. This is so utterly unexpected. Visual effects is massively a team game, more so maybe than any other department. And we have to thank people in two directions: we’ve got to thank the studio, we’ve got to thank the production.” – Andrew Whitehurst

9:58 PM

Jason Segel and Olivia Munn, hosts of the earlier Scientific and Technical Awards, present highlights from that ceremony.

10:00 PM

Star Wars’s C-3PO, R2-D2 and BB-8 discuss John Williams’ 50th nomination and five Oscar wins. And let’s not forget that tonight’s telecast is on ABC which is owned by Disney, which owns Star Wars

10:05 PM

Chris Rock mentions that he’s been away from his daughters and has missed most of Girl Scout cookie season. He then brings the Girl Scouts out to sell cookies to the audience. He then introduces The Minions to present Best Animated Short Film. And the Oscar goes to Gabriel Osorio and Pato Escala for Bear Story.

“Personally I want to dedicate this achievement to my grandfather, who is the one who inspire this story and to all the people like him who have suffered in exile. We really hope that this must never happen again.” – Gabriel Osorio

10:10 PM

The show celebrates the 20th anniversary of Toy Story. Just want to point out that it’s another property owned by ABC’s parent company. Woody and Buzz then present Best Animated Feature. And the Oscar goes to Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera for Inside Out.

“We are so lucky. Not just us, but everyone in this room, because, regardless of a gold man or not, we get to make stuff.” – Pete Docter

10:13 PM

“Please welcome next year’s host, Kevin Hart!” says Rock. Hart addresses the #OscarsSoWhite issue before introducing The Weeknd, who isperforming the nominated song from Fifty Shades of Grey,

“I want to take a moment to applaud all of my actors and actresses of color that didn’t get nominated tonight. The reason why I say that is because I want them to understand that tonight should not determine the hard work and effort that you put into your craft. At the end of the day, we love what we do and we are breaking major ground doing it. These problems of today will become problems of the old. Let’s not let this negative issue of diversity beat us. Let’s continue to do what we do best and work hard. With that being said — congratulations on an amazing year, okay?” – Kevin Hart

10:22 PM

Kate Winslet and Reese Witherspoon present clips from Bridge of Spies and Spotlight.

10:24 PM

Another comedy bit on diversity. A segment of Rock going to a cinema in Compton to talk to filmgoers about #OscarsSoWhite.

10:28 PM

Patricia Arquette is now presenting Supporting Actor. And the Oscar goes to Mark Rylance for Bridge of Spies. A great, great performance but an upset when so many thought Stallone would win.

“I’ve always just adored stories, hearing them, seeing them, being in them, so for me to have the chance to work with, I think, one of the greatest storytellers of our time, Steven Spielberg, it’s just been such an honor. And unlike some of the leaders we’re being presented with these days, he leads with such love that he’s surrounded by masters in every craft on his film, every craft, not the least, Mr. Tom Hanks.” – Mark Rylance

10:38 PM

Louis C.K. is presenting Best Documentary Short Subject. He riffs on how important this category is to the winners.

“This is the one award that has the opportunity to change a life. Because, I mean, I’m happy for all of you, but you came here winners and you are leaving millionaires. Not going to make that big a difference. The rest of the Oscars are going to mansions and the home of people with good unions. This is documentary short film. You cannot — it’s not even documentary feature, you know? Al Gore got one of those and Michael Moore. This is — no, you cannot make a dime on this. These people will never be rich as long as they live. So, this Oscar means something, because all they do is tell stories that are important.” – Louis C.K.

And the Oscar goes to Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy for A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness.

“To all the brave men out there, like my father and my husband, who push women to go to school and work, and who want a more just society for women. Last week…this week the Pakistani Prime Minister has said that he will change the law on honor killing after watching this film. That is the power of film.” – Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

10:41 PM

Daisy Ridley and Dev Patel are now presenting Best Documentary Feature. And the Oscar goes to Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees for Amy.

“Really, this film is all about Amy, this is all about showing the world who she really was: not her tabloid persona, the beautiful girl, the amazing soul, funny, intelligent, witty, someone special, someone who needed looking after. We just wanted to make a film to show the world who she really was.” – Asif Kapadia

10:44 PM

Rock introduces three young children as the accountants from PricewaterhouseCoopers.

10:49 PM

Rock announces the tally for Girl Scout cookies sold. And the grand total is $65,243. He then introduces Whoopi Goldberg. She talks about the Governors Awards last fall. The Honorary Awards went to Gena Rowlands and Spike Lee, while Debbie Reynolds went home with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

10:52 PM

AMPAS President Cheryl Boone Isaacs congratulates the winners and nominees while talking about the need for more diversity.

10:55 PM

Louis Gossett, Jr. is presenting tonight’s In Memoriam segment. The music is performed by Dave Grohl, who performs The Beatles’ “Blackbird”.

11:03 PM

Jacob Tremblay and Abraham Attah are out to present Best Live Action Short. Rock gives them some apple boxes to make them taller. And the Oscar goes to Benjamin Cleary and Serena Armitage for Stutterer.

“You know, when you make your, your first ever film, you’ve gotta convince a lot of people to jump on board and take a risk with a first-time director, and, you know, to every single member of the cast and crew of Stutterer for jumping on board and taking that risk with me I’m forever grateful.” – Benjamin Cleary

11:06 PM

Sofia Vergara and Byung-Hun Lee are presenting Foreign Language Film. And the Oscar goes to Hungary’s Son of Saul.

“You know, even in the darkest hours of mankind, when in the darkest hours of mankind, there might be a voice within us, that allows us to remain human. That’s the hope of this film. Thank you very much, thank you.” – director László Nemes

11:10 PM

U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden to talk about sexual abuse on campuses. He then introduces a performance by Lady Gaga. She’s performing the nominated song “Til It Happens To You” from The Hunting Ground, a documentary film about rapes on college campuses. She’s joined during the song by survivors of abuse.

11:19 PM

Quincy Jones and Pharrell Williams present Original Score. And the Oscar goes to The Hateful Eight’s Ennio Morricone. It’s his first Oscar and sixth nomination. The Italian composer has a translator with him.

“Thank you, the Academy, for this prestigious acknowledgement. My tribute goes to the other nominees, and in particular to the esteemed John Williams. There isn’t a great soundtrack without a great movie that inspires it.” – Ennio Morricone

11:25 PM

Last year’s Best Song winners, Common and John Legend, present the category this year. And the Oscar goes to Spectre’s “Writing’s on the Wall” by Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith. The McKellen article he mentions was wrong, because their have been openly gay winners before e.g. Elton John.

“I read an article a few months ago by Sir Ian McKellen and he said that no openly gay man had ever won an Oscar, and if this is the case, even if it isn’t the case, I want to dedicate this to the LGBT community all around the world. I stand here, I stand here tonight as a proud gay man and I hope we can all stand together as equals one day. Thank you so much.” – Sam Smith

11:29 PM

Olivia Wilde and Sacha Baron Cohen, dressed as his Ali G character, are out next. Cohen talks about overlooked people “Like the black bloke from Star Wars: Darth Vader.” They introduce clips from Room and Brooklyn.

11:36 PM

J.J. Abrams is presenting Best Director. And the Oscar goes to Alejandro González Iñárritu for The Revenant. They cut him off with music…but they kept the bad Girl Scouts bit? Really?

“I, I, very lucky to be here tonight, okay, but unfortunately, many others haven’t had the same luck. There is a line in the film that says, Glass to his mixed-race son, ‘They don’t listen to you, they just see the color of your skin.’ So what a great opportunity to our generation to really liberate ourselves from all prejudice and, you know, this tribal thinking, and make sure for once and forever that the color of the skin become as irrelevant as the length of our hair. This is for my father. Thank you very much.” – Alejandro González Iñárritu

11:44 PM

Eddie Redmayne is here to present Best Actress. And the Oscar goes to Brie Larson for Room.

“Thank you first to the Academy. I want to start big because the thing that I love about moviemaking is how many people it takes to make it, so I want to start first with the Telluride Film Festival, the Toronto Film Festival, who gave us a chance, who gave us a platform first.” – Brie Larson

11:52 PM

Julianne Moore is here to present the eagerly anticipated Best Actor. Will it be Leo’s year? And the Oscar goes to Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant. He gets a standing ovation.

The Revenant was a product of the tireless efforts of an unbelievable cast and crew I got to work alongside. First off to my brother in this endeavor, Mr. Tom Hardy. Tom, your fierce talent on-screen can only be surpassed by your friendship off-screen. To Mr. Alejandro Iñárritu, as the history of cinema unfolds, you have forged your way into history these past two years. What an unbelievable talent you are. Thank you to you and Chivo for creating a transcendent cinematic experience for all of us. “ – Leonardo DiCaprio

DiCaprio’s speech was quite long and it’s second half touched on climate change. He finished by saying, “Let us not take this planet for granted. I do not take tonight for granted.”

11:58 PM

Morgan Freeman is presenting Best Picture. And the Oscar goes to Spotlight and producers Michael Sugar, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin and Blye Pagon Faust. A really, really good film. See it if you haven’t.

“This film gave a voice to survivors, and this Oscar amplifies that voice which we hope will become a choir that will resonate all the way to the Vatican. Pope Francis, it’s time to protect the children and restore the faith.” – Michael Sugar

12:02 AM

Rock comes out to say goodnight and invite everyone to the next BET Awards.

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