Chris Rock 2016 Oscars The two biggest stories going into the 2016 Academy Awards telecast were whether or not this was the year Leonardo DiCaprio would finally win a much-deserved Oscar, and, how African-American host Chris Rock would handle the backlash from the African-American film community about no actors of color receiving nominations for the second year in a row.

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While Leo won and Rock's racism-baiting jokes started out strong (and grew tiresome after three-and-a-half hours), the story at the end of the night was that the Oscars finally got everything right as far as the winners were concerned.

Chris Rock's Commentary and Overcompensated Diversity

Rock started out the show on fire with jokes that pointed the finger back at the people who were complaining the loudest. His best zinger was directed at Will Smith's sometimes-actress wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, who started the backlash when she vociferously proclaimed she and her husband would boycott the ceremony this year (which seemed like they were just upset because Will Smith was snubbed for his role in "Concussion"). Of that, Rock said: "Jada boycotting the ceremony is like me boycotting Rihanna's panties. I wasn't invited." However, he followed with some astute commentary about how Hollywood is like an uber-white fraternity that people of color just haven't been "good enough" to belong to.

Stacey DashHe scored an early win with a bit starring black actors, including Oscar-winner Whoopi Goldberg, "Saturday Night Live" star Leslie Jones, and comeback king Tracy Morgan, but lost when he trotted "Clueless" actress (and controversial FOX News commentator) Stacey Dash out as the "new director of the Academy's Minority Outreach Program". But that wasn't the end of the racial jokes. He interviewed people in Compton about movies, he had a troop of black Girl Scouts selling cookies and a couple of bits about incarcerated rapper Suge Knight. As he continued with joke after joke and bit after bit, they eventually fell flat and felt like they were all he had in his repertoire.

The Academy also seemed to overcompensate for its lack of diversity in nominees by trotting out an endless list of minority presenters, which felt awkward. Louis Gossett Jr., really? By the end of the night, when Oscar-winner Morgan Freeman handed the Best Picture trophy to "Spotlight," it seemed like the Academy was desperately trying to show how diverse they are. Trouble is, it's pretty obvious that they aren't. The lack of diversity among acting nominees speaks less to the quality of the performances that were nominated and more to the problem about the kinds of movies that are being made.

Leo DiCaprio 2016 Oscars
Oscar Winners

As far as the winners go, this year might be the first that the award went to the best picture. There was a lot of drama and changes in the predictions for best picture this year. "Spotlight" was the early front-runner, but lost it's footing due to the attention DiCaprio's passion pic "The Revenant" received when it finally came out in January. The focus shifted to the mortgage crisis flick "The Big Short" when it won at the Producers Guild Awards a few weeks ago. Then, it went back to "The Revenant" because of all the love for Leo. Then, everyone thought "Mad Max: Fury Road" (the night's big winner with six awards in technical categories) was going to pull an upset at the last minute. But it was ultimately "Spotlight" (which was the only movie this critic saw that received thunderous applause from the audience at the end of its showing), that carried the big win.

One of the bigger upsets of the night came when relative Hollywood-unknown Mark Rylance won Best Supporting Actor for "Bridge of Spies" over the tipped (and crowd) favorite Sylvester Stallone, who played Rocky Balboa for like the 100th time. While it would have been sweet to see Stallone finally win for one of the most beloved characters in film history, the award is for the performance and Rylance was the best part of this Spielberg movie.

Elsewhere, the winners were mostly predicted (and well-deserved): Brie Larson for her harrowing turn as an abused mom trying to save her son in the heart-wrenching "Room," newcomer Alicia Vikander for her performance as the tortured wife of the man who had the world's first gender reassignment surgery in "The Danish Girl," and king of the world DiCaprio for his stunning (and almost wordless) work as a man fighting against the brutal elements in "The Revenant." It also bears mentioning that in a year when everyone was grousing about diversity, director of "The Revenant" Alejandro G. Inarritu became the first director to win directing awards back to back (he won last year for "Birdman"), and he is of Mexican origin.

So with Hollywood's biggest night behind us, you can catch up on all the winners on Dish's Hopper 3, which has all of 2016's Oscar-winning movies.

2016 Academy Award Winners
  • Original Screenplay: "Spotlight"
  • Adapted Screenplay: "The Big Short"
  • Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander, "The Danish Girl"
  • Costume Design: "Mad Max: Fury Road"
  • Production Design: "Mad Max: Fury Road"
  • Makeup and Hairstyling: "Mad Max: Fury Road"
  • Cinematography: "The Revenant"
  • Film Editing: "Mad Max: Fury Road"
  • Sound Editing: "Mad Max: Fury Road"
  • Sound Mixing: "Mad Max: Fury Road"
  • Visual Effects: "Ex Machina"
  • Animated Short Film: "Bear Story"
  • Animated Feature: "Inside Out"
  • Best Supporting Actor: Mark Rylance, "Bridge of Spies"
  • Documentary Short Film: "A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness"
  • Best Documentary Feature: "Amy"
  • Live Action Short Film: "Stutterer"
  • Foreign Language Film: "Son of Saul"
  • Best Original Score: Ennio Morricone, "The Hateful Eight"
  • Best Original Song: Sam Smith: "Writings on the Wall" for "Spectre"
  • Directing: Alejandro G. Inarritu, "The Revenant"
  • Actress: Brie Larson, "Room"
  • Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Revenant"
  • Picture: "Spotlight"
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This article was brought to you by Patrick Roland.

THE OSCARS 2016 - WINNERS, LOSERS, AND REACTIONS THE OSCARS 2016 - WINNERS, LOSERS, AND REACTIONS Reviewed by David Andrews on March 03, 2016 Rating: 5

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