The earnest journalism procedural Spotlight won the Best Picture Oscar tonight to cap one of the most entertaining Academy Awards broadcasts in recent memory. The night saw The Revenant‘s Leonardo DiCaprio win his first Oscar, Warner Bros’ Mad Max: Fury Road take the most trophies with six after romping through the crafts categories, and Chris Rock score multiple times with strong bits while making sure the Academy’s diversity issues were not left on the sidelines. Here is how Deadline’s live blog played out:

Dominic Patten February 28, 20164:42 pm

Even before tonight’s ceremony has started, one vocal nominee has made her preference very clear

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Don't know about u but I'm rooting for LEO! He's blessed us w/ years of his storytelling, he deserves this! #1!! ❤️ <a href=””></a></p>&mdash; Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) <a href=”″>February 28, 2016</a></blockquote>


Mike Fleming February 28, 20164:43 pm

everybody at the Spirits Awards yesterday seemed so happy this endless Oscar season is coming to a close. Most had Best Picture picks all over the map, but they were more interested in talking about how the failure of Gods of Egypt would harm the fragile ecosystem of presales. 

Mike Fleming February 28, 20164:46 pm

It would be nice to imagine this oscarsowhite deal might actually lead to some lasting changes, but bringing Al Sharpton out here to lead a protest is not exactly helpful. Many still think of Tawana Brawley when they see him with a protest bullhorn, and in his last Hollywood foray, he met with Amy Pascal during the Sony hack emails, gave her a hug and promptly rolled her under the bus. Let’s hope the narrative moves from a sense of guilt and obligation, to opportunity. That track might lead to a change in old habits. 

Mike Fleming February 28, 20164:48 pm

Then again, Louis Gossett Jr just gave a hopeful speech on the Red Carpet about diversity. i recall that after his Oscar performance in An Officer and a Gentleman in 1982, his big reward was a lead role in Jaws 3D. Hopefully things have progressed since then. 

Dominic Patten February 28, 20164:50 pm

The preferential ballot means that when Academy members sign
into the site, on a laptop and or the mobile app, which are different, to vote
on the Best Picture –are supposed to slide over the nominees as a part of
making their picks. I’ve heard that lot of people are getting confused, or not
sliding over because there are no instructions or perhaps even more self
defeating they are voting just for one Best Picture because they don’t realize
how the system now works. 

Mike Fleming February 28, 20164:51 pm

 let’s start with some things to watch from our Oscar
expert Pete Hammond. He’s got his rental tux working at the Dolby Theatre, but was good enough to
leave us some suggestions on what to look for and why tonight could be
interesting, even if many of the major categories seem like locks.

believe Screenplay awards will be first this year.  If this is the case
look for SPOTLIGHT and BIG SHORT , two of the perceived top 3 Best Picture
winner possibilities to roar off in the lead.  However  in both cases
I would say it will be likely the last time we hear those names come out of an
envelope until  Best Picture at the end, as I expect the rest of the
evening to largely be a seesaw battle  between Revenant and Mad Max 
, likely picking up four to five Oscars each before we get to Best Picture.

Dominic Patten February 28, 20164:51 pm

This of course is one of the most anticipated things about tonight – what will host Chris Rock say?

Mike Fleming February 28, 20164:51 pm

HAMMOND: Interesting
to note Revenant leads all with 12 noms  but did not get a screenplay
nomination so isn’t competing there.  Very unusual for a Best Picture
winner  to not even have a NOMINATION for writing.  Last one to do it
was Titanic  which had 14 noms but not one for screenplay in 1997 
and before that THE SOUND OF MUSIC in 1965,  so historically it’s a mark
against Revenant’s chances , but on the other hand Best Pic winner usually ,
not always certainly, is the one with the most noms as that reps support from
across all branches of the Academy.

Dominic Patten February 28, 20164:52 pm

This of course is one of the most anticipated things about tonight – what will host Chris Rock say?


Mike Fleming February 28, 20164:52 pm

is entirely possible that Mad Max runs up the highest number of awards tonight
since it could score big in tech categories.  How ironic would THAT
be?  The combined total of Oscar nominations for the previous three Mad
Max movies with Mel Gibson was exactly zero.  What a difference 30 years
makes for George Miller.

Mike Fleming February 28, 20164:55 pm

It is remarkable to see Mad Max make such a strong Oscar push, so long after the 1979 original. It’s also remarkable to see Sly Stallone with his first nomination in almost 40 years, playing the same character in Rocky Balboa. Sly, be sure to thank your director, Ryan Coogler, and costar Michael B. Jordan. It was Coogler’s heart and desire to tell a personal story about his father that made Stallone’s resurgence possible. 

Dominic Patten February 28, 20164:55 pm

Even before tonight’s ceremony has started, one vocal nominee has made her preference very clear


Mike Fleming February 28, 20164:56 pm

BIG SHORT or SPOTLIGHT   be named Best Picture after having only won
the earlier Screenplay award it would be the first time since 1952 and the
GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH  to win the top prize and just one other award (in
the 1952 case for BEST motion picture story, a now defunct category).

Dominic Patten February 28, 20164:56 pm

Besides Mr. Rock’s return as host after a decade, the appearance of VP Joe Biden at the Oscars tonight is another one of the most anticipated on-stage presentations

Mike Fleming February 28, 20164:57 pm

Director  Inarritu  would be third to win back to back Oscars after
Joe Mankiewicz  in ‘49/50   and John Ford in 40/41  
but if Revenant takes Best Pic  he would be the first director ever with
back to back directing and Picture wins as the other two had  one of their
movies that won only director but not Picture.

Mike Fleming February 28, 20164:58 pm

More HAMMOND Still: In
acting   Leo and Brie Larson are locks. Anything else is a shock
.  They have run the table of most precursor awards.   
Stallone is sentimental fave but a loss would not be a stunning surprise, but
definitely an upset.       Supp Actress  win
for Vikander is expected since she beats Kate Winslet when she is nominated for
Danish Girl .  In the two that Winslet won it was becuz Vikander was
forced to compete in lead for Danish but in support for Ex Machina.

Dominic Patten February 28, 20164:59 pm

It was earlier this week that Biden would be introducing Lady Gaga’s performance of Best Original Song nominee “Til It Happens To You” from the documentary The Hunting Ground. The VP will use the opportunity to advocate to the Hollywood powerplayers and the millions watching at home to learn more about the administration’s anti-campus sexual assault program at

Mike Fleming February 28, 20165:00 pm

More HAMMOND, this time exposing a little secret from the docu branch, that Son Of Saul almost didn’t get included in the final ballot, if it wasn’t salvaged by the exec committee: HAMMOND: Although
I went out on a limb in foreign film for an upset with Mustang, the reality is
the far and away expected winner is Son Of Saul.  Interesting to note that
that movie was not among the Foreign Language committees six choices .  It
had to be put in as a “save”  by the small executive committee which was
formed a few years ago to avoid embarrassing ommissions by the larger, mostly
older  foreign language committee.

Mike Fleming February 28, 20165:02 pm

final HAMMOND, on the Original Score category. At Harvey Weinstein’s Oscar party held at the Beverly Hills Montage, Weinstein said that if they fail to get an Oscar for The Hateful Eight composer Ennio Morricone (he has never won), TWC execs will go into the witness protection program. HAMMOND: Should
Ennio Morricone win Best Score , as expected, for Hateful Eight   he
would NOT be the first Honorary Oscar winner (in 2007)  to win a
competitive Oscar  AFTER first receiving an Honorary award .  
Both Paul Newman and Henry Fonda  were given Honorary Oscars  
before they won in the Best Actor category the very next year in both
cases.   Charles Chaplin got an honorary Oscar  in 1972 
but then actually, because of a weird quirk,  WON an Oscar for his
LIMELIGHT music score the next year.  It was an anomaly because that film
came out in the 50’s but never played L.A. until 1972 thereby eligible for the
first time for Oscars!

Mike Fleming February 28, 20165:05 pm

Okay, Pete, back to your seat. The red carpet TV interviews are now in full swing. We just saw Eddie Redmayne, who’s defending his Best Actor Award. Now, he’s considered a longshot in a category expected to be win by Leonardo DiCaprio (long overdue), but based on what we just saw, Eddie is a lock for Worst Dressed. He wore a velvet tux that looked a bit like a rental. He said he expected it to rain again, and that’s why he wore it and he was sweating like a fiend. 

Dominic Patten February 28, 20165:07 pm

A long time between nominations (39 years) this potential Best Supporting Actor winner is obviously pumped about tonight

Dominic Patten February 28, 20165:14 pm

The co-chairman of Disney Media Networks and President of Disney-ABC TV Group has a very VIP POV

Patrick Hipes February 28, 20165:22 pm

Like Pete Hammond told us earlier this week, the Screenplay categories are kicking off the Oscars show this year. That mimics the 2009 show, when producers Laurence Mark and Bill Condon thought the idea of starting the Oscars where a move starts — with the script — was a good way to go. Here’s the rundown:

Patrick Hipes February 28, 20165:27 pm

Here are some looks from the red carpet, courtesy of Rex/Shutterstock (see our slideshow here).

Patrick Hipes February 28, 20165:28 pm

Brie Larson, the Best Actress favorite from Room:

Patrick Hipes February 28, 20165:28 pm

Sylvester Stallone, another front-runner for a win tonight:

Patrick Hipes February 28, 20165:29 pm

Daisy Ridley — don’t forget, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is up for five Oscars tonight:

Dominic Patten February 28, 20165:45 pm

Drops the mic

Patrick Hipes February 28, 20165:47 pm

WINNER: Best Original Screenplay – Spotlight
Written by Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy

Mike Fleming February 28, 20165:49 pm

What a terrific start to the show. Clip montage that reminded the audience it was a pretty good year for movies, beyond those nominated. An enlightened opening routine by Chris Rock, and a clever way to dispense Best Original Screenplay by showing how the words play onscreen. Maybe this will be a real celebration of the films. The crawl that ran as Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy walked to the stage, a long thank you of first names, doesn’t really work well. 

Patrick Hipes February 28, 20165:52 pm

WINNER: Best Adapted Screenplay – The Big Short
Screenplay by Charles Randolph and Adam McKay

Dominic Patten February 28, 20165:53 pm

No word when VP Biden is coming on stage tonight, but he’s teasing it out online

Mike Fleming February 28, 20165:56 pm

Adam McKay, giving a shout out to his daughter Pearl, who starred in The Landlord, the short film he made with Will Ferrell, which featured the young lady as a vitriolic landlord who hurled abuses as her tenant late on her rent because she needed the money “to get her drink on.” Pearl retired (McKay’s wife had enough), but her memory lives on. Fans of McKay Ferrell comic collaborations like Talladega Nights and Step Brothers must see McKay holding Oscar and wonder if he’ll ditch dumb comedy. McKay promised me that would not happen. Phew. 

Dominic Patten February 28, 20165:57 pm

And first openly political remark of the night not from Chris Rock goes to The Big Short’s Adam McKay where in the pics Best Adapted Screenplay win he called out for America not to vote for candidates who take $$ from “big banks”, oil companies and billionaires – On the Democratic side, that was clearly intended for Hillary Clinton. Odd McKay just didn’t say her name maybe that’s because his long time collaborator Will Ferrell is a Clinton backer

Dominic Patten February 28, 20166:01 pm

Getting some comedy gold out of the diversity debate and Black Martian was good but The Nightly Show did the exact same thing earlier this week -literally

Patrick Hipes February 28, 20166:06 pm

From Pete in the audience at the Dolby: So far predictable awards-wise Sitting net to Paramount exec who is totally relieved with The Big Short win. Says Adam McKay didn’t even expect a nom.

Patrick Hipes February 28, 20166:12 pm

WINNER: Best Supporting Actress – Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

Dominic Patten February 28, 20166:17 pm

BidenJam in effect! Motorcade 2 is heading to Hollywood and Highland now

Jeremy Gerard February 28, 20166:19 pm

Well if Alicia Vikander is any evidence, the new thank-you crawl is merely providing an opportunity for double the names no-one cares about…

Patrick Hipes February 28, 20166:21 pm

WINNER: Best Costume Design – Mad Max: Fury Road
Jenny Beavan

Patrick Hipes February 28, 20166:24 pm

WINNER: Best Production Design — Mad Max: Fury Road
Production Design: Colin Gibson; Set Decoration: Lisa Thompson

Patrick Hipes February 28, 20166:27 pm

WINNER: Best Makeup & Hairstyling — Mad Max: Fury Road
Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega and Damian Martin

Mike Fleming February 28, 20166:27 pm

Our Pete Hammond predicted that Mad Max would clean up in the below the line awards. Will this momentum factor into the big prizes later on? 


Dominic Patten February 28, 20166:32 pm

Really like how brisk this year’s Oscars feels – usually by now it’s lagging but tonight it has a really nice pace

Patrick Hipes February 28, 20166:37 pm

WINNER: Best Cinematography – The Revenant, Emmanuel Lubezki

Mike Fleming February 28, 20166:39 pm

The Revenant was the most beautiful outdoor shot film I have ever seen. but the idea of traveling to pristine locations to shoot a scene for two hours a day in natural light, then pack it all up and come back and do it again the next day? You’ll never see another movie like this again, even though the film’s backer, New Regency’s Arnon Milchan, will make money as the $135 million budget film heads for north of $400 million worldwide gross. An incredible achievement, but one too risky for most financiers and studios. 

Patrick Hipes February 28, 20166:40 pm

WINNER: Film Editing – Mad Max: Fury Road, Margaret Sixel

Mike Fleming February 28, 20166:41 pm

That makes four Oscars for Mad Max. No other movie has more than one…

Patrick Hipes February 28, 20166:49 pm

WINNER: Best Sound Editing – Mad Max: Fury Road, Mark Mangini and David White

Mike Fleming February 28, 20166:50 pm

Mad Max now has five Oscars, same as all other films, combined. 

Mike Fleming February 28, 20166:52 pm

Mad Max Sound Editing brought our first F-bomb of the night. Those frisky Aussies! 

Patrick Hipes February 28, 20166:52 pm

WINNER: Best Sound Mixing – Mad Max: Fury Road
Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo

Jeremy Gerard February 28, 20166:54 pm

I have to wonder if the Mad Max sweep is having an impact on the TV audience…

Dominic Patten February 28, 20166:56 pm

Took a Brit to make the first Donald Trump swipe of the night – Ouch Andy Serkis

Patrick Hipes February 28, 20166:56 pm

WINNER: Best Visual Effects – Ex Machina
Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington and Sara Bennett

Jeremy Gerard February 28, 20166:56 pm

I have to wonder whether al these clips from the same movies and the sweep for Mad Max is turning off the viewing audience…

Mike Fleming February 28, 20166:59 pm

In a weekend where the disruptive Deadpool ruled the box office for the third straight week, and the derivative Gods of Egypt tanked, you see Ex Machina win a big Oscar. It is a movie that Universal and Focus had, and kicked to the curb. A24 picked it up. Straight Outta Compton, another disruptive film, was kicked to the curb by Warner Bros, and which Universal made. Is there a message here that might leave Hollywood rethinking its creative conservatism? Maybe audiences want to see something new?

Dominic Patten February 28, 20167:00 pm

The Academy gave us a sneak peak at this trio yesterday

Patrick Hipes February 28, 20167:05 pm

HAMMOND: I can say now for sure that Mad Max already has enough to be the big winner of the night numerically with 6 so far. That number can’t be caught.

Mike Fleming February 28, 20167:07 pm

Did Chris Rock just jump the shark, interrupting the oscars to sell Girl Scout cookies? Ellen’s selfie and pizza ordering scene was better. Don’t blow it, Chris!

Patrick Hipes February 28, 20167:08 pm

WINNER: Best Animated Short Film – Bear Story
Gabriel Osorio and Pato Escala

Patrick Hipes February 28, 20167:12 pm

WINNER: Animated Feature Film – Inside Out
Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera

Dominic Patten February 28, 20167:13 pm

After the exception of last year, tonight’s win by Inside Out once again has the big winner at the Annies being the Best Animated Feature winner at the Oscars

Dominic Patten February 28, 20167:29 pm

Deja Vu – Chris Rock went to Compton for a Best Picture poll last time he hosted the Oscars back in 2005

Mike Fleming February 28, 20167:32 pm

Even though he didn’t win, Tom Hardy had a remarkable year. Playing four incredibly different characters in a single calendar year. Oscar nominated for The Revenant. The title character of Mad Max: Fury Road. And, perhaps most remarkably, both the murderous British gangsters Ronny and Reggie Kray in Legend. 

Patrick Hipes February 28, 20167:33 pm

WINNER: Best Supporting Actor – Mark Rylance, Bridge Of Spies

Mike Fleming February 28, 20167:33 pm

Mark Rylance should thank Steven Spielberg. He knocked it out of the park in Bridge of Spies, and he is playing the title character in the Spielberg-directed adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The BFG.  

Jeremy Gerard February 28, 20167:33 pm

Mark Rylance took a night off from his off-Broadway show to be here tonight. What an amazing year he’s had. Remember Wolf Hall?

Dominic Patten February 28, 20167:35 pm

Remember Wolf Hall? That was one of the best TV series of last year – loved it!

Patrick Hipes February 28, 20167:40 pm

WINNER: Best Documentary Short Subject – A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

Dominic Patten February 28, 20167:42 pm
Patrick Hipes February 28, 20167:43 pm

WINNER: Best Documentary – Amy
Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees

Mike Fleming February 28, 20167:44 pm

Amy Best Docu win means Two Oscars for upstart distributor A24, which also won for Ex Machina earlier. Still in the mix for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress Brie Larson. 

Dominic Patten February 28, 20167:46 pm

Comedy power trio

Patrick Hipes February 28, 20167:53 pm

Arnold to Sly: “You’re the best” no matter what:


Patrick Hipes February 28, 20167:56 pm

From our backstage crew: Organizers asked the audience not to applaud during the In Memoriam segment going on now.

Patrick Hipes February 28, 20168:05 pm

WINNER: Best Live Action Short – Stutterer
Benjamin Cleary and Serena Armitage

Mike Fleming February 28, 20168:08 pm

Beast of No Nations’ Abraham Attah and Room’s Jacob Tremblay. When have there been better performances by such young actors? Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense? Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver? 

Patrick Hipes February 28, 20168:08 pm

WINNER: Best Foreign Language Film – Son Of Saul (Hungary)

Mike Fleming February 28, 20168:11 pm

Our Pete Hammond scooped that Son of Saul did not make the cut when the Foreign Language committee came up with its short list of six nominees for Best Documentary. It had to be put in as a “save” by the small executive committee that was formed a few years ago to avoid embarrassing omissions by the larger, mostly older foreign language committee. Son of Saul owes its Oscar to that move. 

Mike Fleming February 28, 20168:19 pm

When was the last time the Oscarcast was this good? Lady Gaga’s performance of Till It Happens To You, the song she wrote with Diane Warren for The Hunting Ground was powerful enough. Surrounded by victims of abuse, it was overwhelmingly touching. Between that and Dave Grohl’s Blackbird, this is subtle touching stuff from the less is more category that has been missing in recent years. 

Patrick Hipes February 28, 20168:22 pm

WINNER: Best Original Score – The Hateful Eight, Ennio Morricone

Mike Fleming February 28, 20168:23 pm

Harvey Weinstein said last night he would go into witness protection if he didn’t get Ennio Morricone his first true Oscar in six tries on The Hateful Eight. Mission accomplished. 

Dominic Patten February 28, 20168:25 pm

VP Biden cut straight to the heart of the matter with that Lady Gaga intro

Patrick Hipes February 28, 20168:27 pm

WINNER: Best Original Song – “Writing’s On The Wall” from Spectre
Music and Lyric by Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith

Mike Fleming February 28, 20168:30 pm

Back to back wins for Oscars for James Bond themes. Skyfall theme won in 2013. Adele sang it. 

Patrick Hipes February 28, 20168:38 pm

WINNER: Best Director – The Revenant, Alejandro G. Iñárritu

Mike Fleming February 28, 20168:38 pm

While diversity has been the overriding theme, it certainly doesn’t apply in the Best Director category. Inarritu won now for the second straight year. Before that came Alfonso Cuaron, who followed Ang Lee. Prior to that was Frenchman Michel Hazanivicius. Before that, Tom Hooper and prior to that Kathryn Bigelow. Before that, British helmer Danny Boyle. That is diversity. 

Mike Fleming February 28, 20168:41 pm

Whoever tried to play off Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu with that Apocalypse Now theme during his touching speech about tolerance and diversity, is tone deaf. 

Patrick Hipes February 28, 20168:47 pm

WINNER: Best Actress – Brie Larson, Room

Dominic Patten February 28, 20168:48 pm

Brie Larson also won for Best Female Lead at yesterday’s Indie Spirit Awards

Patrick Hipes February 28, 20168:55 pm

WINNER: Best Actor – Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Mike Fleming February 28, 20168:56 pm

The only surprise about Leonardo DiCaprio is it took this long. Could have won for The Wolf of Wall Street, or The Aviator, or Gilbert Grape for that matter. 

Patrick Hipes February 28, 20169:00 pm

WINNER: Best Picture – Spotlight

Mike Fleming February 28, 20169:01 pm

Steve Golin would be up there, whether Spotlight or The Revenant won. The Anonymous Content chief produced both pictures. A wonderful night for one of the good guys in town. 

Mike Fleming February 28, 20169:03 pm

To journalists, those Boston Globe reporters who were so well depicted by the Spotlight ensemble, those are real superheros. And they are still journalists.  

Mike Fleming February 28, 20169:09 pm

I can remember when Open Road and A24 started. It doesn’t seem that long ago. Tom Ortenberg’s distribution company wins Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay, and A24 wins three Oscars including Best Actress for Room. Quality rises, in a perilous business. Spotlight opened early, but it continues to chug along and is about to pass $40 million domestic gross. It will likely get a second wind. It has caused the Catholic Church to confront a scandalous, shameful past. Imagine, the Boston Archdiocese has practically endorsed the film, and it was heard, all the way to the Vatican. There wasn’t a flat moment in this Oscarcast, it was one of the best I can remember. And the ending was most touching. A great night with many highlights.