Celebrities champion causes at Oscars
It was a night of wins for social and environmental issues as celebrities took turns to champion their causes
The Revenant's Alejandro González Iñárritu became the first director in over 60 years to win the top directing prize two years in a row, after scoring for Birdman last year.
George Miller's action blockbuster Mad Max: Fury Road waved the Australian flag loud and proud, nabbing the most bragging rights with six trophies out of 10 nominations, dominating the technical categories including Best Sound Mixing, Best Film Editing and Best Costume Design.
And as expected, front runners Leonardo DiCaprio and Brie Larson picked up their coveted Best Actor and Best Actress statuettes respectively. But the biggest winner of the 88th Academy Awards, held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles yesterday morning (Singapore time), had to be host Chris Rock.
The US comedian was given an uphill task, considering this year's ceremony was plagued by the #OscarsSoWhite controversy for its omission of black nominees in the acting categories for the second year in a row.
Not only did the 51-year-old tackle the elephant in the room with much wit, he also directed the racism debate into the right channel, which is the lack of opportunities for black actors.
The lack of diversity was also addressed by Mexican filmmaker Iñárritu, who said in his thank you speech that this generation can "make sure once and forever that the colour of the skin becomes as irrelevant as the length of our hair".
Overall, it was a night of celebrities championing social causes and wearing their hearts on their sleeves, making it the most socially-conscious show in years.
Here is how Oscars 2016 kept it real...
1 WHEN CHRIS ROCK SKEWERED WILL AND JADA PINKETT SMITH
Credit should be given to Rock for not holding back - even if it meant throwing shade at fellow black actors and Hollywood royalty, actor Will Smith and his actress-wife Jada Pinkett Smith, with the latter receiving the full brunt of his verbal attack.
"Jada went mad. Will went mad. Everyone went mad!" Rock said about the black stars who protested against this year's Oscars.
"Jada said she's not coming. Isn't she on a TV show? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna's panties. I wasn't invited."
Rock blasted her further, adding: "Her man Will was not nominated for Concussion. I get it. You get mad. It's not fair that Will was this good and didn't get nominated."
The audience at the Dolby Theatre and fans on social media clearly loved his jabs, approving of his zingers.
The Big Short's director-writer Adam McKay said backstage after his Best Adapted Screenplay win: "I thought it was great. I thought it was jabbing at Hollywood yet at the same time even-handed and kind of dealing with like a new era of sort of how we discuss diversity."
2 WHEN LADY GAGA MOVED EVERYONE TO TEARS
There was not a dry eye in the house after the US pop star gave a rousing performance of Best Original Song nominee Til It Happens To You, which she co-wrote with Diane Warren, and taken from documentary The Hunting Ground that explores rape on college campuses in the US.
MOVING: Singer-songwriter Lady Gaga (centre) joining hands with survivors of sexual assault while performing Til It Happens To You at the Oscars.
She had extra help from US Vice President Joe Biden, who introduced her set by speaking about the White House's It's On Us campaign that addresses sexual assault as well as a group of sexual assault survivors who joined her on stage and with whom she clasped hands.
3 WHEN LEONARDO DICAPRIO CHAMPIONED CLIMATE CHANGE
Diversity might be the central theme this year, but the Best Actor winner used his acceptance speech as a platform to discuss his pet topic climate change.
"Making The Revenant was about man's relationship to the natural world, the world that we collectively felt in 2015 as the hottest year in reported history. Our production needed to move to the southern tip of this planet just to be able to find snow," DiCaprio said.
"Climate change is real. It's happening right now. It's the most urgent threat facing our entire species and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating."
He added, to much applause: "Let us not take this planet for granted, I do not take tonight for granted."
4 WHEN MARK RYLANCE BEAT STALLONE
Chalk one up for the little people.
The big upset of the night was when low-key British stage actor Mark Rylance, 56, was named Best Supporting Actor for Bridge Of Spies.
Audible gasps could be heard as many had bet on sentimental favourite Sylvester Stallone to take home the honour for reprising his Rocky role in Creed.
Heck, even more famous nominees like Mark Ruffalo, Christian Bale and Tom Hardy stood no chance against the Hollywood unknown.
5 WHEN JACOB TREMBLAY MET STAR WARS' STARS
Kids are certainly the experts at keeping it real.
The pint-sized nine-year-old might not have been nominated for his amazing performance in Room, but he was clearly a favourite during awards season, giving some of the best and most adorable quotes on the red carpet.
The diehard Star Wars fan, who wore Darth Vader socks and Millennium Falcon cufflinks to the Oscars, jumped from his seat when C-3PO, R2-D2 and BB-8 made a surprise appearance on stage as a nod to long-time Star Wars music composer and Best Original Score nominee John Williams.
Let us not take this planet for granted, I do not take tonight for granted.
- Best Actor winner Leonardo DiCaprio on climate change during his acceptance speech
AND THE WINNERS ARE...
Best Picture: Spotlight
Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Best Actress: Brie Larson, Room
Best Directing: Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant
Best Supporting Actor: Mark Rylance, Bridge Of Spies
Best Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
Best Original Screenplay: Spotlight
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Big Short
Best Animated Feature: Inside Out
Best Original Song: Writing's On The Wall, Spectre (Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith)
Best Original Score: The Hateful Eight (Ennio Morricone)