Leonardo DiCaprio, #OscarsSoWhite and a slew of surprise winners (sorry, Sly!) were the talk of the 2016 Oscars ceremony, held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 28. Mad Max: Fury Road took home the most hardware, winning six prizes, but it was Spotlight (best picture, original screenplay) and The Revenant (best director, actor and cinematography) that nabbed the highest honors. Read our full Oscars blog below for a detailed look at the night, including videos of the monologue, speeches, performances and best viral moments.
12:08 a.m. EST: That’s a wrap! Check out our roundup below for our take on the great moments (Chris Rock’s hilarious monologue, Lady Gaga’s powerful performance, a slew of amazing speeches) and the not-so-great (we still don’t know what that Stacey Dash appearance was all about).
12:01 a.m. EST: So much an easy-to-predict Oscars 2016! The surprise wins kept coming right to the end, as Spotlight topped frontrunner The Revenant (and Mad Max: Fury Road, which nabbed six total trophies tonight) to win best picture. In his acceptance speech, director Tom McCarthy encouraged change within the Catholic Church: “Pope Francis, it is time to protect the children and restore the faith.”
11:57 p.m. EST: In his moving acceptance speech, Leonardo DiCaprio thanked his parents, the film’s team and frequent collaborator Martin Scorsese before speaking out about global warming. “Climate change is real — it is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our species,” he said. “Let’s not take this planet for granted — I do not take this night for granted.”
11:55 p.m. EST: It’s official! Leonardo DiCaprio is finally an Oscar winner, earning a standing ovation as he takes the prize for The Revenant in his sixth nomination. For Titanic fans (i.e. almost everyone), the camera panned to his bestie Kate Winslet, clasping her hands and holding back tears and Leo held forth.
11:49 p.m. EST: Find room in the trophy case! Eddie Redmayne, last year’s best actor recipient for The Theory of Everything, presented the best actress Oscar to Room star Brie Larson, who showed her appreciated to the independent film’s fans. “Thank you for going to the theater and seeing our films,” she said from the podium. Our favorite moment preceded her walk to the stage: when she hugged lil’ costar Jacob Tremblay!
— Us Weekly (@usweekly) February 29, 2016
11:43 p.m. EST: “It is infomercial late!” Chris Rock joked. We laughed a little, yawned a lot.
11:38 p.m. EST: Is The Revenant taking the momentum away from Mad Max: Fury Road? The Leonardo DiCaprio film nabbed its second prize of the night when Alejandro G. Inarritu picked up his second consecutive trophy for best director, following last year’s Birdman. Speaking over the orchestra’s music, the Mexican-born helmer implored viewers to “liberate ourselves from all prejudices .. and make sure for once and forever that the color of skin becomes as irrelevant as the length of our hair.”
11:32 pm EST: It’s past 11:30 p.m., and there are four more awards to give out. Guess that “Thank You” scroll isn’t saving much time after all …
11:31 p.m. EST: Get ready to cringe! Olivia Wilde joined Sacha Baron Cohen, in character as Ali G, to present the clips for the not-great-for-jokes Room. Ali G called himself “another token black presenter” and paid tribute to “Idris Elbow” and implored the Academy to honor the “hard-working little yellow people with tiny dongs” (the Minions, whose private parts should never be discussed). As Wilde giggled, he concluded,”Now check out a movie about a room full of white people.”
11:29 p.m. EST: Sorry, Lady Gaga! The statue for best original song went to Sam Smith’s James Bond/Spectre tune “Writing’s on the Wall. The slimmed-down Brit said in his speech that he believes he’s the first openly gay man to have won an Oscar, but regardless of whether that is true, he said he wants to dedicate the prize to “the LGBT community all around the world.”
11:25 p.m. EST: He’s finally an Oscar winner — at age 87! With his fourth nomination, composer and film-industry icon Ennio Morricone — known for his work on countless Westerns — nabbed his first-ever Academy Award for The Hateful Eight. Through an interpreter, the Italian musician thanked director Quentin Tarantino, Harvey Weinstein and his late wife. The trophy was presented by Pharrell Williams and Quincy Jones, who recalled working on The Color Purple with Steven Spielberg.
— Us Weekly (@usweekly) February 29, 2016
11:12 p.m. EST: Walking out to a standing ovation, Vice President Joe Bidenencouraged viewers to do their part to help stop sexual assault by going to ItsOnUs.org to take “a pledge that says, ‘I will intervene when consent has not or cannot be given.’ Let’s change the culture.” He then introduced Lady Gaga, who sat at the piano for a stirring performance of The Hunting Ground‘s “Til It Happens to You.” Behind her were a group of sexual-assault survivors, who had messages of hope written on their ams. By the end of the song, the audience was back on its feet — and many (including Gaga’s cowriter on the song, Diane Warren) were in tears.
11:08 p.m. EST: Kids’ corner! Room star and awards-season fave Jacob Tremblay joined Beasts of No Nation‘s Abraham Attah to present the award for best live-action short film, with the not-exactly-tall Tremblay quipping that he and Attah were handing out this particular award for “obvious reasons.” Before they announced Stutterer as the winner, Chris Rock ran out to give boxes to the two young actors to stand on.
— Us Weekly (@usweekly) February 29, 2016
10:58 p.m. EST: Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl delivered a gorgeous cover of the Beatles’ “Blackbird” during this year’s In Memoriam segment, which mourned such late stars as Alan Rickman, Christopher Lee, David Bowie, Wes Craven and Leonard Nimoy, who took the final spot.
10:54 p.m. EST: After a presentation recognizing Spike Lee, Gena Rowlands and Debbie Reynolds, recipients of this year’s honorary Oscars, Academy presidentCheryl Boone Isaacs addressed, the group’s plans to increase diversity among nominees and Academy members. “While change is often difficult, it is necessary,” she said before quoting Martin Luther King, Jr.
10:50 p.m. EST: In what Chris Rock dubbed the biggest moment of the night, he welcomed his adorable daughters and their fellow scouts on stage to reveal how much money the ceremony’s attendees raised in Girls Scout cookie sales.
— Us Weekly (@usweekly) February 29, 2016
Before revealing that more than $65,000 (!!) was collected, Rock thanked the guests for their generosity: “Harvey Weinstein, kiss my ass — but everyone else, I love you.”
10:43 p.m. EST: In his acceptance speech for best documentary, Amy director Asif Kapadia praised the legendary subject of the gut-wrenching film, the late, beloved Amy Winehouse. “This film is all about Amy, showing the world who she really was,” Kapadia said of the “Rehab” singer, whose rise and fall are chronicled in the flick.
10:40 p.m. EST: Chris Rock oddly introduced longtime friend and collaboratorLouis CK as the star of something called “Horse and Pete.” The Emmy-winning Louie creator took the stage to present the prize for documentary short film, and he called it his favorite category.
“This is documentary short film!” CK said. “It’s not even documentary feature … You cannot make a dime on this. These people will never be rich, as long as they live.” He continued, “This Oscar is going home in a Honda Civic. … It’s going to give them anxiety to keep it in their crappy apartment.”
The prize went to A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness, and the film’s director gave a well-received speech about the film leading to the Pakistani government to change its laws.
10:32 p.m. EST: Biggest shocker of the night so far! Bridge of Spies‘ Mark Rylance took the best supporting actor prize instead of frontrunner and sentimental fave Sylvester Stallone, who was nominated for his comeback role in Creed. The British actor (more well known for his Tony-winning work in theater) praised director Steven Spielberg, adding that “it’s a wonderful time to be an actor, and I’m proud to be part of it.”
10:27 p.m. EST: To hear firsthand how black movie fans feel about the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, Chris Rock went to his “favorite movie theater in Compton” for person-on-the-street interviews. He asked one woman if she went looting when she heard that only white actors were nominated this year (she didn’t).
The host asked one guy if he had seen Spotlight, and the response was: “What the hell — what is that? No, I didn’t see that.” Another person said her favorite “white people” film was Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s poorly received drama By the Sea, leading Rock to quip, “Wow, not even they would say that.”
10:14 p.m. EST: Kevin Hart took the stage to present The Weeknd’s weird, (obviously) kinky, acrobat-filled performance from 50 Shades of Grey‘s “Earned It.” Hart joked that he only showed up because he thought he would have a seat in the front of the Dolby Theatre so that the camera could frequently cut to him, given the #OscarsSoWhite controversy.
However, even though he didn’t have a great seat, all was not lost: “But I have a suit with shiny stuff on it, so I’m still making a statement.” The Ride Along 2 star ended his appearance with a hopeful, unifying message. (P.S. The Weeknd sounded great! And no aerialists were injured!)
10:12 p.m. EST: Toy Story‘s Woody and Buzz mark the 20th anniversary of the franchise’s first film while handing out best animated feature to Inside Out.
10:10 p.m. EST: Don’t tell Gru! The Minions — speaking whatever their gibberish-language is called — appear on stage to present best animated short to Bear Story.
10:08 p.m. EST: It’s Ellen Hands Out Pizza: The Sequel! Chris Rock tries to help his very cute daughters boost their Girl Scout cookies sales by bringing them into the crowd in to push the popular treat. “Leo, you made $30 million this year,” Rock chided the Revenant star, encouraging him to shell out. “Oh, Lou Gossett — watch out now. You got diabetes — you can’t have any.”
10:00 p.m. EST: The Force is with tonight’s ceremony! Star Wars droids C-3PO, R2-D2 and newcomer BB-8 appear on stage to pay tribute franchise composer John Williams’ 50th Oscar nomination. C-3PO calls the golden Oscar statue (twinsies!) “rather good-looking.) Room’s Jacob Tremblay — a.k.a. the adorable scene stealer of awards season 2016 — is caught on camera standing up at his seat to get a better view.
— Us Weekly (@usweekly) February 29, 2016
9:59 p.m. EST: Jason Segel and Emily Blunt try and liven up the presentation of the technical Oscars winners, with Blunt joking that the robots will take over on August 27.
9:56 p.m. EST: Finally, the first shocker of the night! Ex Machina logs an upset win for best visual effects, topping such stiff competition as Mad Max: Fury Roadand Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
9:53 p.m. EST: The Mad Max: Fury Road team can’t be mad about this. The action film is killing it tonight, picking up its whopping sixth prize, this time for sound mixing. It’s up for four more awards, including best director (George Miller) and best picture. Will it keep up the momentum and go all the way?
9:49 p.m. EST: Yep, Mad Max: Fury Road is on fire, winning for sound editing, its fifth award of the night.
9:44 p.m. In a bit called the “Black History Month Minute,” Angela Bassett honors the star of such films as Enemy of the State and Shark Tale. The end of the video praises not Will Smith but . . . (LOL) Jack Black, who had supporting roles in the films.
9:42 p.m. EST: It’s the fourth prize for Mad Max: Fury Road, which is clearly on a roll! Margaret Sixel, winner for best editing, boasts that the final film was “forged” by her team.
9:37 p.m. EST: Three years in a row! Emmanuel Lubezki claims his third consecutive Oscar with the best cinematography prize for The Revenant, which also marks the harrowing film’s first award. Lubezki had previously won for Birdman and Gravity.
9:35 p.m. EST: Is Suge Knight supporting the Straight Outta Compton stars? As part of a bit, an actor in the audience is dressed as the notorious, incarcarated music producer, complete with straightjacket and orange jumpsuit.
9:30 p.m. EST: Um, what? Apparently, bears love Hollywood glamour as much Us, as someone in the audience is dressed as the Revenant villain.
9:28 p.m. EST: It’s best makeup and hair styling, and no big surprise: Another win for Mad Max: Fury Road, which has notched three trophies tonight already.
9:24 p.m. EST: Date Night costars Steve Carell and Tina Fey appeared on stage to present the award for best production design. Fey feigned being drunk, and praised The Revenant’s sets for accurately depicting the “thing where a bear lives.” Mad Max: Fury Road prevails in the category, which could become a pattern in the below-the-line categories.
9:20 p.m. EST: Mad Max: Fury Road wins for best costume design in the first of what should be numerous victories for the film, which earned 10 nominations. In her speech, Jenny Beavan warned that the dark, dystopian film could become real life if we aren’t “kinder to each other,” and she appeared to get cut off.
9:18 p.m. EST: Chris Rock brings back viewers after the commercial break with, “We’re black.”
9:12 p.m. EST: Another front-runner has prevailed! Alicia Vikander wins best supporting actress for The Danish Girl. She praises costar Eddie Redmayne, who is also nominated for the film: “You raised my game.”
9:10 p.m. EST: Time for the biggest award so far. After clips presentations for The Martian and The Big Short, J.K. Simmons — last year’s best supporting actor winner for Whiplash — presents best supporting actress.
9:03 p.m. EST: Sarah Silverman — on stage to introduce Sam Smith’s performance of his Spectre tune “Writing’s on the Wall” — made reference to James Bond’s manhood, calling him “not a grower or a shower.” She also joked that the character is “not street enough,” referring to concerns about Idris Elbataking on the legendary spy role.
9:01 p.m. EST: Whoa, the show’s first awkward moment! Controversial Cluelessstar Stacey Dash shows up on stage to say, “I can’t wait to help white people out. Happy Black History Month!”
9:00 p.m. EST: In the bit, Tracy Morgan appears in drag and claims that he’s the “Danish Girl,” while Kristen Wiig pretends to not notice a black astronaut in The Martian, saying it costs too many “white dollars” to bring him back.
8:58 p.m. EST: Whoopi Goldberg pops up in Joy as a janitor in a bit about how tough it is for black actors to end up in nominated films. “It’s not rocket science — it’s just a mop,” Goldberg tells the film’s star, Jennifer Lawrence.
8:52 p.m. EST: Neither screenplay prize’s winner is a big surprise, as The Big Short, seen as a potential contender for best picture, wins for best adapted screenplay. Director and co-writer Adam McKay knocks “big banks” in acceptance speech.
8:51 p.m. EST: Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe present best adapted screenplay. Gosling claims they have two Oscars between them, but Crowe points out that the Notebook star has never won. “Not when you put it like that, but you have two Academy Awards, so technically, there’s two between us,” Gosling replies. Not so fast: Crowe only has one, for The Insider.
8:48 p.m. EST: Finally, the first award! And the winner is no surprise: Best original screenplay goes to Spotlight, the frontrunner in the category.
8:45 p.m. EST: “We want opportunities,” Chris Rock said. He added, “Hollywood is ‘sorority racist.’ It’s like, ‘We like you Rhonda, but you’re not a Kappa.'”
8:42 p.m. EST: Chris Rock joked that the more egregious offense than Will Smith not getting a best actor nomination for Concussion was the fact that he made “20 million for Wild Wild West.”
8:40 p.m. EST: Chris Rock joked about Jada Pinkett Smith — who is not nominated — boycotting the Oscars ceremony: “Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties.”
8:36 p.m. EST: Chris Rock came out swinging! He opened his Oscars monologue with, “I counted at least 15 black people in that montage.” He called the ceremony “the White People’s Choice Awards,” a reference to the fact that all the acting nominees are white for the second year in a row.
He joked that he decided not to quit as host because he didn’t want to lose another job to Kevin Hart and quipped about the quick rate at which Hart’s movies come out: “Not even pornos get made that fast.”
8:32 p.m. EST: The 88th Academy Awards telecast began with a highlights reel of 2015’s most notable films. A number of actors of color were included, included Ant-Man‘s Anthony Mackie, Beasts of No Nation‘s Idris Elba and the stars of Straight Outta Compton.
8:29 p.m. EST: Almost show time! Watch Leonardo DiCaprio’s red-carpet interview, where he explains why the ceremony is “bittersweet.”
8:23 p.m. EST: Time for some last-second jabs? Host Chris Rock posted a pair of funny Instagram pics before the big show, including one less than an hour ahead of the 88th Academy Awards ceremony’s start that shows him fine-tuning his material. His other post revealed that he started his day with a meal that is not exactly known as the breakfast of champions.
— Chris Rock (@chrisrock) February 29, 2016
8 p.m. EST: Hollywood’s glitziest night has arrived! Tinseltown’s biggest stars are joining host Chris Rock for the 88th Academy Awards on Sunday, February 28, from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, and Us Weekly will be live-blogging the entire event.
Buzz ahead of the highly anticipated ceremony centers on a number of key topics, including whether this will finally be the year that Leonardo DiCaprionabs his first Oscar statue. The five-time nominee is widely considered to be the frontrunner for best actor after he dominated this awards season for his role as 19th-century fur trapper Hugh Glass in The Revenant, which is also seen as a likely contender to win best picture and best director for last year’s winner, Alejandro G. Iñárritu.
And, of course, no discussion of DiCaprio’s potential win is complete without speculation about how Kate Winslet, who herself is nominated for supporting actress for Steve Jobs, will react when her Titanic costar and close friend gets his long-awaited acknowledgment from the Academy. The pair celebrated memorably together after the actor’s wins at this year’s Golden Globes and SAG Awards.
But the biggest question of the night, by far, is how Rock and the night’s presenters will address the fact that, for the second year in a row, every nominated actor is white. As first sparked by Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee, the hot-button #OscarsSoWhite issue has led to boycotts, and telecast producer Reginald Hudlin recently told Entertainment Tonight that Rock and his writers have rewritten the show to focus on the controversy.