‘Spotlight’ Wins Oscar for Best Picture in Hollywood’s Biggest Night but ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ was big winner in terms of sheer numbers

Leonardo DiCaprio won his first Oscar on Sunday for his leading role in revenge movie “The Revenant” at the 88th Academy Awards.

 DiCaprio, 41, had been nominated four times previously for an Oscar over a career spanning 25 years. But he was favorite to finally take home the best actor Academy Award this year for his grueling portrayal of a fur trapper left for dead in an icy wilderness after being mauled by a bear.

“Spotlight,” the movie that recreates the Boston Globe’s probe of sex abuse in the Catholic Church, won the Oscar for best picture on Sunday, the highest honor in the film industry. The film, which took years to research, follows the journalists who in 2002 revealed that church officials had routinely covered up reports that priests had sexually assaulted dozens of children. The Boston Globe won a Pulitzer prize for its efforts.

But the real success story of the night was Mad Max: Fury Road, in which Tom Hardy took over from Mel Gibson and starred alongside a shaven-headed, one-armed Charlize Theron. The film took home an impressive six Oscars – for Sound, Sound Mixing, Hair and Makeup, Production, Film Editing and Costume Design. All in all, it was a good day for Max.

Brie Larson won the best actress Oscar on Sunday for her role as a young woman held hostage for years with a young son in the emotional thriller “Room.” It is the first Oscar and nomination for the 26-year-old Larson, who has starred in more than 45 films and television.

Inarritu, DiCaprio wins for The Revenant

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu picked up best director for The Revenant, becoming the first person in 65 years to claim back-to-back directing awards, while Room’s Brie Larson won best actress.

“Make sure for once and forever that the colour of our skin becomes as irrelevant as the length of our hair,” the Mexican director said, urging people to liberate themselves from racial prejudices.

DiCaprio received a long standing ovation as he claimed his Oscar for his role as a fur trapper fighting for survival, edging out Brian Cranston, Matt Damon, Michael Fassbender and Eddie Redmayne. “The Revenant was the product of a tireless cast and crew,” he said, describing the film as a “transcendent cinematic experience” before turning his thoughts to climate change.

Spotlight wins Best Picture against the odds

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.

Mad Max cleans up with six wins

Mad: Max Fury Road was nominated for Best Picture but it didn’t win that. But what was clear, was that the Academy actually really, really liked Fury Road. The film took home an impressive six Oscars – for Sound, Sound Mixing, Hair and Makeup, Production, Film Editing and Costume Design. All in all, it was a good day for Max.

Chris Rock confronts the #OscarSoWhite controversy head on

No one was expecting the famously outspoken comedian to give the Academy an easy ride – but Rock took things a step further, making “the race issue a central” part of his show. His opening monologue set the tone: in it, he referred to the ceremony as the “White People’s Choice awards” and joked about how, back in the Fifties,“black people didn’t protest because we had real things to protest at the time… When your grandmother’s swinging from a tree it’s really hard to care about best documentary foreign short.”

The winners of the four main acting awards were (l-r) Mark Rylance, Brie Larson, Leonardo DiCaprio and Alicia Vikander

The winners of the four main acting awards were (l-r) Mark Rylance, Brie Larson, Leonardo DiCaprio and Alicia Vikander

Team "Spotlight" accepts the best picture Oscar.

Team “Spotlight” accepts the best picture Oscar.

David White and Mark A Mangini, winners of the best sound editing award for Mad Max: Fury Road, with the actor Chris Evans (centre) Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

David White and Mark A Mangini, winners of the best sound editing award for Mad Max: Fury Road, with the actor Chris Evans (centre)

Brie Larson, winner of the best actress Oscar for Room

Brie Larson, winner of the best actress Oscar for Room

Leonardo DiCaprio wins Best Actor for The Revenant

Leonardo DiCaprio wins Best Actor for The Revenant