Joaquin Phoenix capped his awards season sweep with his first Oscar on Sunday for “Joker,” besting a packed field of nominees that included Antonio Banderas, Leonardo DiCaprio, Adam Driver, and Jonathan Pryce.
His first Academy Award follows months of controversy over the arthouse origin story about Batman’s nemesis, which stoked fears of inciting violence even as it hoarded nominations and awards.
“We share the same love, the love of film. This form of expression has given me the most extraordinary life,” the actor said before launching into an emotional call for Hollywood to “use our voice for the voiceless” and “fight against injustice.”
He ended his speech with a tearful tribute to his brother River, who died of an overdose in 1993 at age 23.
“Run to the rescue with love and peace will follow,” Phoenix said, quoting his brother.
Leonardo DiCaprio has finally won his first Oscar for survival epic The Revenant, after six nominations.
He was named best actor at the 88th Academy Awards, with Brie Larson named best actress Oscar for Room.
Catholic Church abuse movie “Spotlight” was named best picture, the top award at Sunday’s Oscars ceremony, after a night peppered with punchlines from host Chris Rock about the #OscarsSoWhite controversy that has dominated the industry.
In a ceremony where no single movie commanded attention, Mexico’s Alejandro Inarritu nabbed the best directing Oscar for “The Revenant”, becoming the first filmmaker in more than 60 years to win back-to-back Academy Awards. Inarritu won in 2015 for “Birdman.”
“The Revenant” went into Sunday’s ceremony with a leading 12 nominations, and was among four movies believed to have the best chances for best picture after it won Golden Globe and BAFTA trophies.
The ambitious 20th Century Fox (FOXA.O) Pioneer-era tale, shot in sub-zero temperatures, also brought a first Oscar win for its star Leonardo DiCaprio, who got a standing ovation from the A-list Hollywood audience.
“I do not take tonight for granted,” DiCaprio said, taking the opportunity in his acceptance speech to urge action on climate change.
Yet voters in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences chose Open Road Films’ (RGC.N) “Spotlight,” which traces the Boston Globe’s 2003 Pulitzer Prize winning investigation of child sex abuse by Catholic priests, for best picture. The movie also won best original screenplay.
“This film gave a voice to survivors, and this Oscar amplifies that voice, which we hope can become a choir that will resonate all the way to the Vatican,” said producer Michael Sugar.
Rising star Brie Larson, 26, took home the statuette for best actress for her role as an abducted young woman in indie movie “Room,” adding to her armful of trophies from other award shows.
Nigerian Writer and Actor, Ifeanyi Dike (Jnr) says that he would have given the 2014 Oscars ‘Best Supporting Actress’ award to somebody different from Lupita Nyong’o, based on performances during the year in review.
He, however, admitted that the Kenyan lady and star of the movie ‘12 years A Slave’ was indeed a talented actress who deserved the honour, also considering the hype surrounding her leading to the awards. He admitted it was her time.
Dike was on Nigerian youth programme Rubbin’ Minds on Channels Television where he discussed the Oscars and the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards.
Speaking about other key personalities at the Oscars, Dike believes that British born actor of Nigerian origin, Chiwetel Ejifor, missing out on the ‘Best Actor’ honour at the 2014 award should not be seen as a loss as he was sure he would still get it.
He explained that not winning in 2014 could be seen as a good thing, as this would serve as a good build-up to the time when he eventually clinches the award.
While referring to the 2014 Oscars as “the most predictable Oscars in recent years” with no surprises, he noted that Nigeria missing out on nominations in the foreign language category has nothing to do with how big its movie industry – Nollywood is. Although he admitted to not being able to explain why the country had been overlooked having seen the quality of movies recognized in the past, he expressed optimism that the country’s movies would soon get the recognitions they deserve.
Dike added that Lupita leading the way for other Africans was a about a deserved recognition of good acting and not about nationality. He was proud of her and it didn’t matter to her if she was Nigerian or not.
He also commended what he called the fantastic performance of Ellen DeGeneres as the host of the event; “I am sorry for whoever has to host the award next year because that was just insane. She was good for young people, she was good for old people, it was really interesting.”
On the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards, Mr. Dike was very much in agreement with the judges in their decisions; especially on the choice of Tope Tedela as the Best Actor in a Drama (A Mile From Home) despite being relatively an underdog competing with big names in the category.
He, however, had reservations about the general production of the event, saying that he preferred the 2013 edition of the award. “There were too much going on”, he said.