Red carpet rewind
Check out the intimate moments on the 2016 Academy Awards red carpet.
See Leonardo DiCaprio, Charlize Theron, Kerry Washington and others as they walk the red carpet at the 2016 Oscars.
Advocates behind #OscarsSoWhite talk about their plans to keep fighting for change
When comedian Chris Rock took to the Dolby Theatre stage to start the Oscars telecast Sunday night, the track “Fight the Power” by rap group Public Enemy played in the background. That same song, used by Spike Lee to cap his seminal film “Do the Right Thing,” also played at the end of the show as the credits rolled. Both instances were a reminder, comedic or otherwise, to keep pushing for greater diversity prompted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ mostly white list of nominees for a second year in a row. And fighting the power is what the #OscarsSoWhite movement plans to continue doing.
Here are the ways some proponents of increased diversity believe the conversation can continue now that awards season is over.
April Reign, creator of #OscarsSoWhite:
“I would encourage everybody to be more mindful of the movies on which they spend their hard earned money. If the cast does not look like them, does not represent their stories, perhaps choose not to see their films and instead seek out stories that tell the diversity and the beauty and nuance of all people.”
Gil Robertson, president of the African American Film Critics Assn.:
“I want to see the putting together of a multicultural group of journalists to continue this conversation. It’s important that we do that because the way the conversation has been had traditionally is in black and white terms. I think it is important that we encourage our Hispanic and Asian and other brothers and sisters to also be vocal, and to give them room to be vocal. We need to work collaboratively to see results.”
Overheard backstage at the Oscars
Girl Scouts, giggles and little gold men set the tone in the wings of the Dolby Theatre stage at the Oscars, where presenters and performers settled their nerves and celebrated their victories.
Where was Oscar host Chris Rock’s ‘Compton’ movie theater? Not in Compton
During a comedy bit on the 88th Academy Awards Sunday night, Chris Rock said he trekked to a Compton movie theater to interview black moviegoers about largely white Oscar contenders.
The resulting segment got big laughs as Rock asked cinema fans if they had seen, or even heard of, movies like “The Big Short,” “Brooklyn” and “Bridge of Spies.”
But there was one problem with the routine — that theater isn’t in Compton. Rock’s video, filmed about a week before the ceremony, actually took place in front of the Rave Cinema 15 (formerly Magic Johnson Theatres) at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza.
In fact, as the Los Angeles Times has reported, Compton doesn’t even have a movie theater within its city limits, and it hasn’t in decades.
Inside Vanity Fair’s Oscar party (yes, Ben and Jen were there)
Patricia Clarkson, sitting on a couch bleary-eyed at the late hour, seemed amused by the gaggle of tall, pretty girls. Less concerned was “Love” star Gillian Jacobs, who was hanging out with “Game of Thrones” star Emilia Clarke.
Jacobs was more interested in getting some beignets. While waiting for her ride, she grabbed a bag of the Bouchon donuts — guests were given to-go packets upon exiting — and tossed a few in her mouth. And that’s how you end an award season right.
10 most popular Oscars Instagram videos contain McDonald’s, diamonds and JiffPom
No real surprise here, the most popular Instagram videos to be created on Oscars night include a celebrity puppy, Cate Blanchett and her diamonds, Reese Witherspoon doing shots, and Diddy instructing his followers on how to keep their “glows.”
Let’s shine together.
How Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy used the Oscars as a platform for diversity before #OscarsSoWhite
As established over the last few months of #OscarsSoWhite coverage and controversy, Hollywood diversity is an issue that inspires much passion within the entertainment industry and beyond.
But matters of diversity aren’t a trending topic, they’re a conversation that’s been going on for decades. Even in Hollywood. Even at the Oscars.
At the 49th Academy Awards held in 1977, 39 years ago, Richard Pryor (after a seven-minute interpretive song-and-dance number by Ann-Margret) opened the Oscars with a searing monologue that lampooned the lack of African American representation at the awards while a primarily white audience nervously tittered.
In 1988, 11 years after Pryor’s monologue, the academy invited Eddie Murphy, one of the biggest box-office stars of the decade, to award the ceremony’s crown jewel, best picture. But before Murphy got down to business, he went off book and told the story of how he originally wanted to turn down the offer from the academy.
Oscars joke about Asian American accountants stirs outrage
Despite an Academy Awards ceremony focused on addressing issues of diversity in Hollywood, Asian Americans expressed outrage on social media after two jokes that poked at stereotypes. The comments, one by host Chris Rock during a skit and another by comedic actor Sacha Baron Cohen under his Ali G persona, were particularly notable due to the controversy surrounding the #OscarsSoWhite theme.
Rock’s skit drew the most ire. In a rehearsed bit involving the tabulation of Academy Awards votes, he introduced the would-be PriceWaterhouseCoopers representatives overseeing the count. “They sent us their most dedicated, accurate and hard-working representatives,” he said. “Please welcome Ming Zhu, Bao Ling and David Moskowitz.”
Three kids of Asian descent, dressed in suits and carrying briefcases, walked toward center stage. Following a muted response from the crowd, Rock added: “If anybody’s upset about that joke, just tweet about it on your phone that was also made by these kids.”
And react they did, many wondering how the gag made it out of the writers room.
Stacey Dash at the Oscars: The joke’s on whom?
For as much was written speculating about what this year’s Chris Rock-hosted Oscars might look like, it’s doubtful many prognosticators predicted an appearance of Black History Month’s sworn enemy Stacey Dash.
Dash, best known for her work in 1995’s “Clueless,” now spends her days as a cultural contributor for Fox News, where she was suspended in December 2015 for using profanity in reference to President Obama while on the air. More recently, Dash stoked the flames of controversy with statements in response to the #OscarsSoWhite controversy that suggested that BET and Black History Month should be done away with in the interest of equality.
So when Dash took the stage at Sunday’s Oscars, under the guise of “director of minority outreach,” the joke didn’t just flail, it sank like a stone.
Diane Warren on losing the Oscar for the eighth time: ‘I guess I’m just the perennial loser’
I mean, it’s my eighth time losing. I didn’t think I’d lose this time. I mean, that’s the best performance I’ve ever seen in my life. That’s like an Oscar moment of all time. I guess I’m just the perennial loser. I mean, it’s like everybody is talking about it. That and Stallone. It’s really weird.
— Diane Warren, Oscar nominee for original song
How’d Chris Rock do? Critics (mostly) liked his Oscars performance
One of the most urgent questions going into Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony was just how host Chris Rock would handle the gig, and particularly how he would address the ongoing #OscarsSoWhite controversy.
Critics generally praised Rock for addressing the issue so directly, even if not all the jokes worked. Here’s a look at reactions:
Writing for The Times, television critic Mary McNamara argued that although Rock didn’t land every joke, he encouraged a bit of reflection on what is typically a night for the film industry to pat itself on the back. “For all its flaws, Rock’s Oscars had some of the most powerful moments seen in the telecast’s history. His decision to honestly answer the question ‘Is Hollywood racist?’ was brave and effective,” she said. “If Hollywood believes, as it should, that film is a medium of truth-telling and a catalyst for change, then moments of self-examination should occur at least as often as those of celebration.”
New York Times TV critic James Poniewozik noted that having Rock, who was hired before the diversity flap began, emcee the ceremony “was a lucky pairing of host and subject.” His performance was “evenhanded without being wishy-washy” and represented “an example of something the industry is still trying to learn: that you can achieve both inclusion and entertainment by giving the right person just the right opportunity.”
That being said: What was with the bizarre appearance by Stacey Dash?
How Chris Rock’s entrance included a musical shout-out to Spike Lee
Comedian Chris Rock came out swinging, at least in regard to his music choices. Rock’s walk-on song was Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power,” a song tied to Spike Lee’s 1989 film “Do the Right Thing.” Many looked to Rock to address the lack of diversity in Hollywood and at the Oscars, and he did so before even saying a word, choosing a song that still feels revolutionary.
Chris Rock doesn’t lift ratings for Oscars
Anticipation of Chris Rock’s no-holds-barred commentary at the 88th Academy Awards ceremony did not boost to the overnight ratings for Sunday’s telecast on ABC
Based on Nielsen’s overnight data from 56 large U.S. TV markets, the telecast averaged a 23.4 rating and a 36% share of the homes using television from 8:30 p.m. to 11:51 p.m. EST, when the last commercial break aired.
That’s down 6% when compared with the 24.9 rating from the overnight data for 2015.
Three reasons why ‘Spotlight’ came from behind to take the Oscar for best picture
It was a year of two films. Until it wasn’t.
It was the year “Spotlight,” the third film on everyone’s list of top-three finishers, came from behind and walked off with the best picture trophy.
So what did “Spotlight” have that “The Big Short” did not? Three things:
It not only provided work for a lot of actors, it featured an actor (Tom McCarthy) who also co-wrote and directed. As “Good Will Hunting” proved years ago, actors, a big chunk of academy members, like to see actors branching out.
Yes, it was a hot mess, but Chris Rock’s Oscars show was powerful, confounding and possibly revolutionary
For all its flaws, Rock’s Oscars had some of the most powerful moments seen in the telecast’s history.
— Mary McNamara
The 2016 Oscars telecast was a hot mess, but it certainly wasn’t boring.
An event most often criticized for being self-indulgent and self-congratulatory — so over-long, repetitive and predictable that the host is all but required to joke about its absurdity — this year’s Academy Awards was a strange compilation of atonal moments in which the audience was kept perpetually off balance. Host Chris Rock called Hollywood out on its racism and then sent his daughters out to sell Girl Scout cookies. The mood whipsawed from the shocking to the familiar and back again, often in the space of a few moments.
The kiss: Cue the Celine Dion music, Leo and Kate are back together for a Titanic embrace
They parted ways on that sinking ship back in 1997, but lately Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet have been back together in an awards season that’s gone on and on. After both actors won Golden Globes in January and British Academy Film Awards in mid-February (his as lead actor in “The Revenant,” hers as supporting actress in “Steve Jobs”), many fans were hoping for the ultimate “Titanic” recoupling at the Oscars.
Winslet, however, lost the Oscar to Alicia Vikander (“The Danish Girl”). But when DiCaprio won his Oscar, he found Winslet backstage. They embraced. They kissed. And for one brief moment it was as if Jack and Rose had never drifted apart.
Whoopi Goldberg’s bracelet was also an octopus
The 88th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre wasn’t without a plethora of standout accessories and sartorial details worth a second look, including the red silk flower of Oscar winner Jared Leto’s festive Gucci ensemble and the feathers of Oscar winner Cate Blanchett’s Armani Privé seafoam green gown. And how could we forget Academy Award winner Whoopi Goldberg’s bold jewelry? Here’s a look at what style accessories, details and accompanying fashion selections stood out on the red carpet.
Chris Rock was right, this year the Oscars really were a little different
Bringing an end to an unpredictable and tumultuous Oscar race, the newsroom drama “Spotlight” took home the top prize for best picture at the 88th Academy Awards, emerging victorious in what had widely been seen as a three-way race with the brutal frontier epic “The Revenant” and the financial crisis dramedy “The Big Short.”
Leonardo DiCaprio won his first Academy Award — after four previous acting nominations — for his starring role as a man who survives a vicious grizzly bear attack in “The Revenant.” Brie Larson earned the lead actress prize for her performance as a mother who has spent much of her life in captivity in the drama “Room.”
The evening marked the climax of one of the most controversial Oscar seasons in Hollywood history, as a bitter debate over the lack of any acting nominees of color for the second year in a row roiled the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Unlike in many previous years, no single film dominated the night, as academy voters spread their love around to a wide range of contenders.
Oscars after-party quick change: Before and after
The art of the quick change is a Hollywood staple. And many of the Oscars ceremony audience members showcased entirely new looks at the Vanity Fair Oscar party.
Mindy Kaling traded in her long, blue train for a Salvador Perez original.
Kerry Washington switched from a custom Atelier Versace gown to a backless number.
And Sofia Vergara wore Marchesa to the ceremony but traded that in for something white for the night.
Inside the Oscar winners’ engraving station
Where do newly anointed Academy Award winners go once the TV cameras turn off and the show comes to an end?
For many, the first stop was the engraving station at the Governors Ball, located at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood and Highland, where winners come to get their personal nameplates affixed to their new but nameless Oscars statuettes.
“Engraving” is a bit of a misnomer in this case because the bronze nameplates were all created well in advance of Sunday’s ceremony by the New York art foundry Polich Tallix.
The foundry created winning nameplates for all the nominees, said Adam Demchak, vice president and general manager of the Hudson Valley company.
During the telecast, technicians selected the winning nameplates as the victors were announced and mounted the small plates in the back of the engraving station in preparation for the crush of winners later in the evening.
It’s the company’s first time at the Oscars. This year’s statuette features a very subtle redesign, with a refined face and other adjustments that combine the best of the statuettes from the golden age of Hollywood and more recent versions, according to the academy.
Leonardo DiCaprio was an early arrival at the station, carrying the first Oscar of his career, for “The Revenant.” The actor conversed politely with the technician who used a simple screwdriver to affix the nameplate with two black screws.
“Wow, manually?” asked DiCaprio. “Do they do this every year?” He was informed that yes, this happens each year.
“I wouldn’t know,” the actor joked. He left the party shortly thereafter, followed by an impressive entourage.
Brie Larson, who won best actress for “Room,” came next, sipping champagne and toasting with her beau as she waited for her Oscar to get its nameplate.
Once she had the statuette -- they are wiped clean of smudges and fingerprints with a small towel -- she stared at it and shook her head. “Oh my God,” she whispered before exiting to a blast of camera flashes.
Each Oscar winner gets a small instruction pamphlet on the proper care of the statuette, which is cast in bronze and coated with 24k gold.
To clean the gold surface, recipients are advised to dissolve a half teaspoon of liquid dish soap in a cup of warm water and to then “gently wipe the surface using the soap solution and a soft microfiber cloth.”
Earlier, Alicia Vikander sipped bubbly while waiting for her nameplate. A few chairs down, three-time Oscar-winning cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki took a photo of the supporting actress winner for “The Danish Girl” with his smartphone.
The academy said that the new statuettes weigh the same as previous versions. “It lasts forever and doesn’t require maintenance,” the care guide states.
Crowds are light and desserts plentiful at the Governors Ball
It was all eyes on Leonardo DiCaprio at the Governors Ball--but not for long. The actor, clutching his Oscar statue, left the pink-filled space where revelers were snacking on mini pizza slices and deviled eggs shortly after 10:30 p.m.
The actor, who won for his performance in “The Revenant,” filed out, flanked by security. And it’s no surprise he needed the help. A swarm of well-wishers and celeb gazers wanted their peek at the man of the hour.
“Mad Max” director George Miller left the Governors Ball at a similarly early hour. An entourage followed him, though it wasn’t as large as the number of wins his film “Mad Max: Fury Road” had nabbed earlier in the evening. (Six.)
“It really thrilled me,” said the smiling bespectacled director. “If you told me a year ago that we’d be nominated I wouldn’t have believed it. And if you told me a week ago we’d win, I still wouldn’t have believed it.”
So he wasn’t expecting so many wins? Not even just a little bit?
“Not at all, not at all,” Miller said, shaking his head. “Most of all I’m so happy my wife, Margaret Sixel, won. So it’s a great night.” Sixel was responsible for editing “Mad Max” and was awarded the Oscar for her efforts.
Andra Day, donning a flowing yellow gown, took center stage at the Governors Ball--literally. The singer performed atop a platform in the middle of the sprawling space, launching into a rendition of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” as partygoers swayed to the beat.
But by 11 p.m., the room is half full and the mood lackluster. A few enthusiastic dancers brave the dance floor, bouncing to Madonna’s 1980s party song, “Holiday.”
Around that hour, academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs takes a moment to stop in at the Governors Ball.
“I think it was a fabulous night,” she said, after taking a photo with Day. “I thought Chris [Rock] did an amazing job. He really did. Our producers, too.”
Asked how the awards show might look differently come next year with recent implementations in the aftermath of the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, Boone Isaacs was coy about playing fortune teller.
“I have no idea what it will look like next year,” she said.
An empowering night for sexual-assault survivors
The stories of sexual-assault survivors have taken center stage in multiple ways this awards season. In addition to being the subject of “The Hunting Ground” and the Lady Gaga-Diane Warren nominated track, it is also examined in “Room,” which won Brie Larson the lead actress Oscar, and “Spotlight,” which took home the night’s biggest award for best picture. And it all came to a head onstage, backstage and at a protest rally in downtown Los Angeles on Oscars Sunday.
Check out the Oscar winners of the red carpet
Check out the best and worst Oscar looks from Sunday night’s 88th Academy Awards. (Spoiler: Kerry Washington slays.)
The weird, wonderful world of the Governors Ball
The first afterparty for Academy Awards attendees is the Governors Ball. A lavish party where folks are fed salmon-shaped Oscars from celebrity Chef Wolfgang Puck. We got an sneak peek at the festivities earlier this week. Behold.
Here’s how the Governors Ball hammers Oscar shapes in salmon.
Celebs can drink from “gilded eggshells.”
Forty Alaskan King crabs were ordered for the Governors Ball and they cost $450 - $500 a pop.
After a year of soul-searching Brie Larson finds herself (and an Oscar)
Brie Larson is feeling “pretty good” right about now.
Following her lead actress win for her performance in “Room,” Larson made her way backstage to the press room and needed no time to think of a song that would best encapsulate her mood. She listed it easily.
“‘I’m in Love with My Life’ by Phases,” she said while clutching her Oscar gold, before launching into song.
The 26-year-old actress spent some time recalling the journey she’s taken since taking on her career-defining role as Ma, an abducted and imprisoned mother in the Lenny Abrahamson-directed film.
“This time a year ago, I was still trying to figure out who I was,” Larson recalled. “The movie was done, but I was in deep searching. I was pulling apart pieces I learned while being Ma ... who I was by the time this movie was over was so far away from who I was before starting this movie.... I’m standing here now completely myself. Everything about this experience ... has been very pointedly about it being a representation of who I am. I feel really strong and excited about holding this gold guy. It’s a metaphor for how I’m feeling inside.”
Larson was later asked if there was a moment in her career where she learned to stand up for herself as a female in the male-dominated industry.
“Oh, many times,” she said. “I would go into auditions and casting [would say], ‘We really love what your doing, but we’d love for you to come back in a jean mini skirt and heels.... For me, I personally always rejected that moment. I tried maybe once and it always made me feel terrible. A jean mini skirt does not make me feel sexy, it makes me feel uncomfortable.”
Larson said she seeks, instead, roles in film that represent “women that I know. Women I understand. Complicated women. Women that are inside of me.”
Elton John’s Oscar watch party auctioned off Lady Gaga’s shoes
The night stayed starry at the Elton John Oscar party as the auction rolled out in rapid fashion. Five nights at Steven Tyler’s Maui vacation home went for $50K.
The red, white and plus platform heels Lady Gaga wore with her sparkly red suit when she sang the national anthem at the Super Bowl drew $55K.
Then the final lot -- two tickets to the Vanity Fair Oscar post-party, with the winners departing straight from this party in WeHo to the mag’s star-studded fete in Beverly Hills -- went up. Bidding hung up for a few minutes around $55K, then shot up and sold for $100K. The money goes to the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
Next came the winners of the Oscar pool, who would take home those Bulgari watches. It was supposed to be one man and one woman getting the prizes, but with a three-way tie among the women, the jeweler donated two additional timepieces. Score!
All that’s left, other than general after-party festivities, is a performance from Elton.
“Now I have to go change into something fabulous,” he said. “I’ll be right back.”
DiCaprio and Iñárritu get passionate about climate change and diversity
Leonardo DiCaprio and Alejandro G. Iñárritu took their time backstage to bask in the glow of their wins for lead actor and director but also to talk further about the subjects they explored in their acceptance speeches: Hollywood diversity and climate change.
When it comes to his win, Iñárritu said that he couldn’t be more happy.
“Every film is like a song. I love this film as I love ‘Birdman’,” he said. “I’m sharing this experience with Leo and all the nominees and the crew and I think all the warmth I’m getting is on behalf of them.”
As for DiCaprio, this first Oscar win has been a lifelong dream.
“I grew up in East Los Angeles very close to the Hollywood studio system … so to have parents that allowed me to be a part of this -- taking me to auditions — it’s been my dream since I was 4 years old.”
Storytelling is what it’s all about for both men.
“Storytelling is a way to confront a huge amount of emotions -- of possibilities,” said Inarritu. “It is a way to control life, to have an oxygen capsule of life without suffering for real.”
The questions soon moved on to their twin passion issues.
“The debate is not only about black and white people,” said Iñárritu, asking if #OscarsSoBrown is next. “The complexity is more than just one one or another — the debate is becoming polarized without exploring the complexity of this country being so mixed — still we are dragging this tribal thing.”
He continued, gaining steam. “One of the problems we are suffering from is that there are no moderate platforms to talk about something deeply that is deciding the destiny of the people of the world by the color of their skin.”
DiCaprio took the microphone next to talk more about climate change, mentioning that he has been filming a documentary about the subject concurrently with “The Revenant.”
“This is the most existential crisis our society has ever known … and the time is now. It’s imperative that we act,” he said. “Tonight I feel so overwhelmed with gratitude, but I feel there’s a ticking clock; there’s a sense of urgency that we must all do something proactive — if you do not believe in climate change and empirical science and truth then you will be on the wrong side of history.”
Sam Smith talks Black Lives Matter, LGBT community
How might Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith celebrate their Oscar win for original song tonight?
“A drink is in order, definitely,” said Napes. “We’re gonna party I think!”
Smith was a tad more serious and emotional about the increase of LGBT and transgender visibility as seen in this year’s Oscar-nominated films, such as “Carol” and “The Danish Girl.” “It means the world to me,” Smith said. “I wanted to take this opportunity to show how much I care about my community. People in the beginning said I didn’t – and I wanted to make it clear how much I do care about the LGBT community. I’m completely overwhelmed, I can’t speak – I’m a little bit drunk as well!”
About Chris Rock’s performance tonight – and his ongoing diversity commentary -- Smith said: “It was amazing. It was so prominent throughout the show and I thought that was important. It’s important all these things get raised because we are not OK. It’s just amazing people are speaking about it and raising it.”
When Smith was asked, specifically, about how he feels about the #BlackLivesMatter movement, he added: “I’m still learning, every day, how bad it is in certain places for black people and black culture. It’s absolutely awful what’s going on in certain parts of the world and I’m fully behind it, that’s all I can say.”
If a drink, for Napes, is now in order, then how might Smith celebrate tonight?
“I’ve been eating the most boring food for months now,” he said, “and I’m gonna destroy some burgers and chocolate cake now!”
‘Spotlight’ victim says best-picture win a new level of validation
Of all the people who felt vindication about “Spotlight’s” upset best picture win, few hold the personal stake of Phil Saviano.
The clergy-abuse survivor has been a visible part of the Tom McCarthy film’s campaign. He has spoken out often on behalf of victims’ rights, and the importance of transparency and accountability within the Catholic Church.
The top Oscar, he said, makes that all worthwhile.
“It’s one thing to have [the story] out in the news; it’s another to have it out in Hollywood,” Saviano said, moments after the movie took best picture.
Saviano said that he believes the win is important because of the battle for justice in the 15 years since the Boston Globe’s investigation began -- but also because that fight isn’t over.
"It’s unfortunate we have to still keep an eye on the church,” he said, citing a policy in which predators who work in the system are able to conceal past violations.
“This movie is going to be shown all over the world, so this really helps,” he added.
A moment later, McCarthy exited the theater holding an Oscar statuette. Told about Saviano’s reaction, he looked up and said, “That’s why we did it, isn’t it?”
Watch the best parts of Chris Rock’s monologue
Full list of the 2016 Academy Awards winners
Here it is, the full list of every single Oscar winner from “Mad Max,” “Mad Max” and “Mad Max” all the way to “Spotlight.”
‘Spotlight’ cast celebrates with a floor pose
And here’s one of the results:
What was your favorite Chris Rock moment from the ceremony?
Brie Larson’s career began with Barbie and fish stick commercials
Brie Larson comes away from the 2016 Academy Awards with the Oscar for lead actress. But earlier in the awards season, Los Angeles Times reporter Rebecca Keegan talked with Larson about her less glamorous beginnings.
As a child actor going out on auditions for fish sticks and Barbie doll commercials, Brie Larson desperately wanted to be taken seriously.
“What they’re looking for is an effervescent kid who has a cute voice and can do a song and dance,” said Larson, now 26. “But I wanted to do monologues. They would ask my name and what my hobbies were and I’d say, ‘I like to act.’ … They’re like, ‘Ah, yeah, OK, let’s move on to the next kid.’”
Hollywood has caught up to Larson’s sincerest childhood ambitions, however. Her performance in “Room,” the A24 drama currently in theaters about a young mother and son living in captivity, has earned critical praise and multiple film festival audience awards for its sensitive and powerful depiction of maternal love in the direst of settings.
“The funny part is, now I don’t really want to be taken seriously,” Larson said, reflecting on her evolution. “Now I find seriousness to be rather ridiculous.”
Screams for ‘Spotlight’ were heard all around the Oscars
Could you hear the screaming from the stage right wings when “Spotlight” was named best picture? It came from a crowd of Oscar winners huddled around the film’s writer and director, Tom McCarthy, including Alicia Vikander, Sam Smith and Brie Larson, who were waiting to be sent on stage at the close of the show beneath a hail of confetti.
Vikander and Larson hugged as the flashbulbs snapped. A stage manager brushed confetti out of Leonardo DiCaprio’s hair.
The group of sexual abuse survivors who had taken the stage behind Lady Gaga screamed, “We love you, Leo!” as he high-fived them.
When Larson arrived, the survivors screamed even louder and pumped their fists. “Give us a hug!” they said to the actress, whose film, “Room,” centered on a sexual abuse survivor. “Yes, yes, yes!” Larson said, rushing into their arms. “I feel like I’m on fire right now!”
Meanwhile, Times reporter Steve Zeitchik spoke to Michael Keaton an hour before the ceremony ended and Keaton predicted, in a low-key way, a “Spotlight” win for best picture.
“I do feel good. I don’t know why. I just do,” he said when asked if he thought it could pull off an eye-popping upset.
Even with “The Revenant” being a favorite? And even with some saying “The Big Short” could crash both their parties?
“I know. I’ve heard all that. But I have a good feeling. I just do.”
Odds are Keaton has an even better feeling now.
‘Spotlight’: The rare best picture winner to take just one other Oscar
“Spotlight” winning best picture took some pundits by surprise for one simple reason. It’s 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 on 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 the end, “Spotlight” prevailed for its quality, of course, and also for the way it became part of the conversation (and prodded the discussion) about the ongoing investigation into clerical sex abuse within the Catholic Church. When a Vatican commission screened the movie earlier this month, it put “Spotlight” into the news headlines -- and squarely in the minds of Oscar voters at a time when ballots were being cast.
Leonardo DiCaprio brings up climate change in his first Oscar acceptance speech
Leonardo DiCaprio, who won the lead actor Oscar at tonight’s 88th Academy Awards for his role in “The Revenant,” spoke of the dangers of climate change during his acceptance speech.
The film, in which DiCaprio plays frontier tracker Hugh Glass, had a harrowing shoot in remote wilderness locations. The production was nearly jeopardized when filmmakers had to scour the world to find snow.
“Making ‘The Revenant’ was about man’s relationship to the natural world, a world that we collectively felt in 2015 as the hottest year in record history,” he said. “Our production needed to move to the southern tip of this planet just to be able to find snow. Climate change is real. It is happening right now.”
DiCaprio added that climate change is the “most urgent threat facing our entire species.” He called on the audience to back politicians who are outspoken on issues of global warming.
“We need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating,” he said. “We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters and the big corporations but speak for all of humanity and the indigenous people of the world, for the billions and billions of underprivileged people who will be most affected by this, for our children’s children and for those people out there whose voices have been drowned out by the politics of greed.”
He ended his speech with a plea.
“Let us not take this planet for granted. I do not take tonight for granted.”
Remember Morgan Freeman’s Oscar-winning performance in ‘Million Dollar Baby’?
Hollywood heavyweight Morgan Freeman has been nominated for an Academy Award five times and took home a statuette in 2005 for his sterling supporting work in boxing heartbreaker “Million Dollar Baby.”
Freeman was just the fourth African American actor to win supporting actor in the history of the academy.
Lady Gaga waited to perform, barefoot and backstage
Lady Gaga, barefoot and in a white suit, danced on the balls of her bare feet in the stage right wings as she waited to sing “Til It Happens to You.”
After performing, Gaga ran off the stage, down a hallway and around a corner to change her clothes, in order to be in her seat before the announcement of her category, original song.
Fact-checking Sam Smith
When Sam Smith took to the stage to accept his (surprising!) Oscar for best song, he made a point to inject his own brand of diversity into the #OscarsSoWhite stratosphere.
In referencing comments from openly gay actor Ian McKellen, the “Spectre” theme singer dedicated his award to the entire lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. This was under the belief that no openly gay people had ever taken home an Oscar.
But the lie detector test determined that was a lie.
For one, see this, posted today by Dustin Lance Black, an openly gay man who won for writing “Milk” in 2009:
Add to that (still limited) list, Elton John, who took home the best original song award in 1994 for “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from “The Lion King.”
Leonardo DiCaprio wins and is showered in GIFS
Alejandro G. Inarritu dreams of a future without racism
Alejandro G. Inarritu, who won the best director Oscar at tonight’s 88th Academy Awards for his film “The Revenant,” noted he was “very lucky” to be in the position he was in. Then he quickly changed course.
“Unfortunately many others haven’t had the same luck,” he said during his acceptance speech.
Inarritu, who is from Mexico City, then referenced a line in “The Revenant,” a moment when Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, Hugh Glass, is speaking to his mixed-race son. Glass says, “They don’t listen to you. They just see the color of you skin.”
He urged “our generation to really liberate” ourselves “from all prejudice,” dreaming of a future in which “the color of the skin becomes as irrelevant as the length of our hair.”
Michael Keaton was surprised about the Mark Rylance win too
Michael Keaton and Sylvester Stallone are two of the most well-regarded contemporary actors without an Oscar.
So how did the former feel about the latter’s upset at the hands of Mark Rylance in the supporting-actor category?
“It was a surprise, wasn’t it?” Keaton said when The Times caught up with the “Spotlight” actor near the Oscars lobby bar."Look, I was pulling for Mark [Ruffalo, his co-star]. But you can’t argue with Mark Rylance. I mean, can you? He’s just so good.”
And Sly, poor Sly?
“Supporting actor is tough,” Keaton said. “Just really tough. There’s so many good actors in that every year. But again. I wanted Mark. I’m a homer. I really am.”
How ‘Amy’ has changed the public perception of the late Amy Winehouse
“Amy” closed out its impressive awards run Sunday night with an Oscar.
The film, which chronicled the life of late songstress Amy Winehouse, took home an Academy Award for documentary feature.
Director Asif Kapadia and producer James Gay-Rees told reporters backstage that they’ve noticed the conversation surrounding the troubled “Back to Black” singer seems to have shifted since release of the film.
“What’s happened is the perception of Amy has changed,” Kapadia said. “A lot of people, particularly in the U.S., summed up Amy on one word: She’s a trainwreck.” Now, he added, they say, “There’s so much more to her. Most people say they just want to give her a hug.... I think there’s a much better feeling people have about her.”
The film, which also won in the documentary feature category at the BAFTAs, details the English singer’s rise as a singer to her death in 2011. Asked about the vocal opposition to the film by Amy’s father, Mitch Winehouse, Gay-Rees would only say the film was not meant to cast blame on anyone.
“I think, at the end of the day, the film’s about Amy,” Gay-Rees said. “She became a bit of a punch bag .... film has opened people’s eyes to her again… that’s what our job was...I think that should be enough.”
Kathryn Bigelow is the only woman to have won for directing
For all the conversation swirling around diversity at the Academy Awards, there remain categories that women as a gender can’t manage to find equal footing in.
In 2010, when Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win the Academy Award for directing, for her work on the harrowing examination of war “The Hurt Locker,” she was only the fourth woman to have been nominated for the award.
That was six years ago. No woman has been nominated for director since.
Mark Rylance on having ‘out-punched’ Rocky
I find people come up and say things about competing as actors, and I know it’s necessary to make a show out of it. But those actors are so good. I feel more like I’m a spokesman when I win … so I don’t take it too seriously.
— Mark Rylance, Oscar winner for supporting actor
Joe Biden on sexual assault: ‘We must change the culture’
Vice President Joe Biden, introducing Lady Gaga at the Academy Awards, gave an impassioned speech dedicated to reducing sexual assault on college campuses.
“Despite significant progress over the last few years, too many women and men on and off college campuses are still victims of sexual abuse,” said Biden.
The White House in 2014 launched It’s On Us, a campaign designed to reframe the conversation around sexual assault. The initiative aims to bring increased awareness to the issue.
“Tonight, I’m asking you to join millions of Americans, including me, President Obama, the thousands of students I’ve met on college campuses, and the artists I’ve met here tonight to take the pledge -- a pledge that says, ‘I will intervene in situations when consent has not or cannot be given,’” said Biden.
Moments later, Lady Gaga would perform “Til It Happens to You,” a song written for the film “The Hunting Ground,” which documents the prevalence of rape on college campuses. Lady Gaga was joined onstage by survivors of sexual abuse.
“Let’s change the culture,” said Biden. “We must change the culture, so that no abused women or man, like the survivors you will see tonight, ever feel they have to ask themselves, ‘What did I do?’ They did nothing wrong.”
‘Inside Out’ took more than three years to make it to the big screen
Director Pete Docter and producer Jonas Rivera were feeling good from the inside out backstage, after accepting their award for best animated feature film for “Inside Out.” But not so excited as to forget co-writer Ronnie Del Carmen.
“Ronnie Del Carmen is one of the great storytellers in visual animation,” Rivera said. “There’s a lot of talk about diversity, films from around the world, Japan, Latin America, good ‘ol California, and Ronnie is a great artist and represents that [in the Philippines]. … We’re proud of him and he’s definitely sharing this with us.”
On making a film that tackles emotions, Docter said: “What we were after was entertainment and fun. But then we thought, ‘This has something deep and applicable to every human being.’ Emotions are invisible… this film has the potential [for kids] to unpack and think about some of the things they don’t normally. We’ve heard … that this film has given [some kids] a new vocabulary. We’re so thankful we could contribute in that way.”
Rivera added to the evening’s ongoing conversation about diversity, adding: “My grandfather was born in Mexico and his mother snuck him over to El Paso, Texas. My house was like “I Love Lucy” when I was a kid – my mother had blond hair, my father [was of Mexican descent]. I’m very proud of my family, my heritage and of my papa.”
It took more than three years to bring “Inside Out” to the big screen, a long journey that Rivera called “tortuous in that it was a tortuous path that was a big hunk of life; but we love our [team] so much that in a way, it being over, it’s a heartbreaker.”
“Perhaps the most complex thing in the universe is the human mind,” Docter added, “and that’s what we decided to make a movie about. … So we had to make sure things were simple and clear. It was a long process of rewriting that took three and a half years.”
Rivera said that one of the most memorable payoff moments came from rapper Ice Cube. “I’m a huge fan of N.W.A and – this is so name-droppy – but we were lucky enough to sit next to the “Straight Outta Compton” table and I got to meet Ice Cube. And I introduced myself as [the producer of] “Inside Out” and he said “Oh, man, that movie was dope!”
“I got a letter from a mother of a daughter with special needs, who said her daughter was able to talk for the first time after seeing the film -- and that was [most meaningful] for me.”
Remember when Sacha Baron Cohen spilled ashes on Ryan Seacrest? Seacrest does!
Sacha Baron Cohen is no stranger to making a splash at the Academy Awards.
It was just four years ago when the outrageous English comedian appeared on the red carpet in character as Admiral General Aladeen, promoting the new film “The Dictator” with an urn the character claimed to contain the ashes of recently deceased North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il. Just moments into his interview with Ryan Seacrest, Cohen dumped a significant amount of the “ashes” all over Seacrest’s jacket, much to the host’s surprise.
On the red carpet, Cohen told The Times he was feared on the carpet after the stunt he pulled on Ryan Seacrest four years ago.
“I gave him a hug this year and he kept looking at my hands. He was visibly scared,” said Cohen, flanked by wife Isla Fisher. “None of the live TV shows would talk to me this year.
‘The Notebook’ reunites at the Oscars
Rachel McAdams emerged with her mom on her arm and saw Gena Rowlands -- who played the older version of her in “The Notebook.”
“How are you? I haven’t seen you in so long!” McAdams said, embracing Rowlands.
“It’s a long night, right?” McAdams added, as Rowlands nodded quietly. “We’re going to sneak to the ladies room so we don’t start drinking at the bar!”
‘Bear Story’ animator wants people to ‘try not to make the same mistakes as the past’
Gabriel Osorio and Pato Escala, who took home gold Sunday in the animated short film category, hope their film “Bear Story” brings some awareness about the power of family.
The short film tells the story of a melancholy old bear longing to be reunited with his family after being taken from them to perform in the circus. Osorio serves as the film’s writer and director; Escala serves as the producer.
Osorio has said the 10-minute short film was inspired by childhood memories in Chile, a time of political turmoil under former dictator Augusto Pinochet. Osorio’s grandfather had been imprisoned after the coup d’état of 1973 and was later exiled to England.
”I tried to tell the importance of family being together,” the Chilean animator said of the film. “The message that we must try not to make the same mistakes as the past.”