Last night, awards season came to a glitzy, star-studded end with the broadcast of the 88th Academy Awards, boldly hosted by comedian Chris Rock. Though Mad Max: Fury Road triumphed in several of the technical categories, it was Spotlight that took home the statuette for Best Picture. Meanwhile, in the acting categories, Leonardo Di Caprio finally received a Best Actor win, for his gruelling performance in The Revenant, while Brie Larson won Best Actress for her role as Ma in Room. Mark Rylance and Alicia Vikander were also victorious in the supporting categories. But what do our writers think of the winners?
“So shocked that the mediocre Spotlight took Best Picture over something as groundbreaking as The Revenant. Also, not quite sure how Sam Smith managed to get the Oscar over Lady Gaga’s very, very special track. However, Kate Winslet luckily wasn’t praised with an Oscar for a very bad accent, and Leo and Brie took home the big ‘uns so I guess that makes up for something…” – Lewis Taplin, Deputy Editor.
“Amazed at how Sam Smith beat Lady Gaga for best original song -nowadays if you do a Bond song you seem to be a shoe-in for that Oscar” – Robert Pratley, writer.
“I am over the moon that Spotlight won Best Picture, frustrated that Iñarittu won Director AGAIN, even more annoyed that Stallone lost out on the award he truly deserves (although I LOVED Bridge of Spies and Rylance). We’re seeing this sort of thing happen more and more often – the biggest prizes get split up between different films, whilst one or two in particular sweep the technical categories.” – George Seabrook, writer.
“I’m more than glad that The Revenant didn’t win best picture, and although it was a complete surprise I think Spotlight was well deserving of it. It’s not surprising the lack of recognition Room got, despite it being as groundbreaking as it was, and frankly being more deserving of all the films.” – Sophie Louise, writer.
“I’m glad Leo won, but in my opinion, he’s had much better performances in other films. It almost feels like a pity Oscar, ‘oh he hasn’t had one and he’s been nominated so many times let’s just give him it’.” – Carly-May Kavanagh, writer.
“The decision to split Best Picture between Blackhat, Pasolini, Carol, and The Academy of Muses was an unexpected but pleasant surprise. Other highlights for me included Leo’s win for The Wolf of Wall Street, Son of Saul not winning Best Foreign Language Film, Kanye performing Life of Pablo in its entirety instead of all the terrible Best Original Song nominations, and the 20 minute tribute to Paul WS Anderson. All in all, this was the first ceremony in years that didn’t bore me to tears.” – James Slaymaker, writer.
“It’s nice to be surprised by the Oscars for a change – even if it wasn’t Mad Max stealing everything. A boy can dream!” – Ben Robins, Film Editor.
“Extremely pleased that Iñárritu bagged Best Director second year running. The Revenant is a stunning, well shot, and interesting picture which goes to show, yet again, that Iñárritu and cinematographer Lubezki are a great pair. I’m very surprised it didn’t win Best Picture. Also, very disappointed that Sam Smith won Best Original Song for his extremely mediocre ‘Writing’s On The Wall’, over Gaga’s beautiful ‘Til It Happens To You'” – Henna Patel, writer.
“Compared to my response to the BAFTAs, the results of the Oscars are somewhat more satisfying. Following my grudge against Kate Winslet getting the BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress, I for one am very happy to see Alicia Vikander get the Oscar instead. I believe my words previous to the Oscars were: ‘If Kate gets the Oscar I may cry’. So I am happy to say that I am not crying, and also happy to see that Leo finally got his Oscar.” – Pippa Short, writer.
“As predictable as it would have been, I really think the Revenant was more deserving of best picture. As for Leo, there was no better man.” – Hollie Geraghty, writer.
“As the worst film student ever, I somehow managed to miss watching the majority of the nominees… Oops. Oh well – I’m sure Leo deserved his win; purely because Leo just deserved an Oscar, though I will miss the bants his losing provided. I heard that Mark Rylance and Brie Larson were fab in their respective roles, and I’m basically in love with Alicia Vikander so I guess I’m happy? Mad Max did better than expected, but again, probably rightly so. Sam Smith though… Why??” – Rehana Nurmahi, writer.
“Why all the hate for Spotlight?! It deserved the Oscar and I’m happy it won, so that more people will go see it and see the importance of journalism and the horrible problems the Catholic Church has covered up for decades.” – Conor Kavanagh, writer.
“I always find it interesting to see where the Oscars diverge from all the other major awards; the most glaring one here, to me, was Kate Winslet’s loss. I’m baffled that Carol did not recieve a single award, considering both to me personally and I believe in technicality, it is a better made film than several of the others on offer. Everyone is saying Star Wars didn’t get an Oscar, but they’ve already got Oscar Isaac and that’s the most important one of all. Anyway – I’m delighted for Brie Larson, a truly well deserved award. And be free, Leo. Be free from the meme.” – Millie Cassidy, Features Editor.
“Spotlight was top to bottom the best film among the nominees (with the possible exception of Room) and it’s win is thoroughly justified, The Revenant was all style with little substance. Shocked that Mark Rylance took home supporting actor over Stallone, but happy that DiCaprio finally nabbed himself the big one and I’m over the moon that Brie Larson won for Room.” – David Mitchell-Baker, writer.
“Spotlight taking best picture made staying up until five worth it. Where The Revenant was bloated and obvious, Spotlight displayed a more low-key complexity that is sorely missing from a lot of contemporary films. And such great writing, rightly presented its own award. It was also great to see Mad Max sweep up the mid-show awards; the Hollywood pretty boys and girls had no idea what to do with Miller’s rag-tag band.” – Scott Williams, writer.
“The biggest steal of the night was VFX, the less said about the songs the better, and everyone hates supposed style-over-substance but loves subject-matter-over-filmmaking. Personally my biggest issue with the ceremony was the rushing of technical achievements and advancements but on the other hand Neil Patrick Harris wasn’t there so its all good.” – Jack Gracie, Head of Design.
“I’m just so glad Leo and Brie won. Utterly deserved, and I’m still deeply emotional everytime I see the image of Leo’s smiley, triumphant face.” – Anneka Honeyball, News Editor.
The Verdict: Though we have mixed feelings over whether or not Spotlight was truly the Best Picture nominated, there’s one thing we can all agree on: we’re super proud of our boy, Leo.