Welcome to the Gold Standard, the newsletter from the Los Angeles Times that helps guide you through the ins and outs of the awards season. I'm Glenn Whipp, The Times' awards columnist and your newsletter host.
The 88th Academy Awards are over, and the best picture winner is "Spotlight," the first movie since 1952's "The Greatest Show on Earth" to take best picture and win just one other category. That's right. "Spotlight" won just two Oscars Sunday night — best picture and original screenplay.
"Spotlight's" victory had everything to do with the academy's preferential voting system, which asks those casting ballots to rank the movies in order. This rewards consensus choices, movies that show up consistently in voters' first-, second- or third-place spots. "Spotlight" and "The Big Short" were those kinds of movies. "The Revenant," not so much. Many people loved it; nearly as many found its brutal violence off-putting.
In one of the evening's biggest surprises, Mark Rylance prevailed over odds-on favorite Sylvester Stallone in the supporting actor category. Rylance won for playing a Soviet mole in Steven Spielberg's "Bridge of Spies."
The Red Carpet: Not All That Glitters Is Gold
The red carpet was defined by glint and glimmer, with all things sparkly and shiny — and we're talking about the clothes here, not the jewelry — being the night's big takeaway trend, according to fashion writer Adam Tschorn.
Analysis: At Least It Wasn't Boring
Times TV critic Mary McNamara thinks the show was a hot mess, but at least it had some surprises. Agree or disagree?
Film critic Kenneth Turan outlines his three reasons for why "Spotlight" won best picture — he called it all along.
And my analysis? The story of this year's Oscars season was representation. Or the lack thereof.
Backstage: Giddiness in the Dolby's Wings
Rebecca Keegan spent the evening backstage at the Dolby Theatre and has several tales to tell — of a barefoot Lady Gaga, the green room and little gold men. Plus, you've got to see Al Seib's photos from backstage, Robert Gauthier's images from inside the theater and Marcus Yam's pictures from the winners' room.
Chris Rock Brings the Pain
More From the Oscars
-- "The Revenant's" Mexican director and cinematographer make history with consecutive wins.
-- Kevin Hart's impassioned words about actors of color were unrehearsed.
-- Pixar's back: "Inside Out" wins for animated feature.
-- At 87, Ennio Morricone may be the oldest Oscar winner ever.
-- "Amy" wins for best documentary feature.
-- Al Sharpton slams Hollywood: "We cannot have the face of American culture exclude us."
-- A lot of dismay over Abe Vigoda's absence from the In Memoriam segment.
-- Foreign-language film winner "Son of Saul" is a collage of the unimaginable.
-- No, Sam Smith wasn't the first openly gay man to win an Oscar.
-- The stories of sexual assault survivors are the real winners.