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Gold Standard: Your complete Oscar guide

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.

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The cast of best picture winner "Spotlight" take a "floorselfie" backstage at theOscars.
The cast of best picture winner "Spotlight" take a "floorselfie" backstage at theOscars. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

"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.

The night's other winners included Leonardo DiCaprio, finally winning an Oscar for his lead turn in the brutal western "The Revenant." Brie Larson won the lead actress Oscar for "Room" and Alicia Vikander took the supporting actress honor for "The Danish Girl."

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."

Below are highlights of The Times' Oscar coverage. Complete coverage is here, along with the full list of winners and nominees and our live blog, chock full of all kinds of information if you want to relive the night. And who wouldn't?

Supporting actress winnerAlicia Vikander ("The Danish Girl").
Supporting actress winnerAlicia Vikander ("The Danish Girl"). (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

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.

Marcos Taylor as SugeKnight
Marcos Taylor as SugeKnight (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

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.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet backstage
Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet backstage (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

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 at the end of the Oscars show.
Chris Rock at the end of the Oscars show. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Chris Rock Brings the Pain 

Chris Rock took on the #OscarsSoWhite controversy head on. Revisit his monologue in full and join in a spirited conversation on Facebook.

Alejandro G. Inarritu with his Oscar for directing for the film "The Revenant."
Alejandro G. Inarritu with his Oscar for directing for the film "The Revenant." (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

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.

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-- Foreign-language film winner "Son of Saul" is a collage of the unimaginable.

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-- No, Sam Smith wasn't the first openly gay man to win an Oscar.

-- The stories of sexual assault survivors are the real winners.

Feedback?

I'd love to hear from you. Email me at glenn.whipp@latimes.com.

Can't get enough about awards season? Follow me at @glennwhipp on Twitter.

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