Brie Larson wins Best Actress, and Spotlight and Mad Max: Fury Road clean up

Best Picture


This gripping dramatisation of The Boston Globe’s investigation into child abuse in the Catholic Church stars Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo. The film’s down-the-line style is clearly inspired by another journalistic classic, 1976 Oscar-winner All The President’s Men.

Best Director

Alejandro González Iñárritu – The Revenant

Iñárritu, who won a Best Director Oscar in 2014 with Birdman, went more than $70 million over budget while shooting this frost-bitten period survival drama. To capture the film’s brutal landscape, he insisted on only filming in natural light. He is the first person in 65 years to win Best Director for two consecutive years.

Best Actor

Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant

Playing a 19th-century huntsman, he endured punishing sub-zero temperatures and ate raw buffalo liver while shooting the film. He’s already been rewarded for his efforts, having scooped up Best Actor trophies at this year’s Baftas and Golden Globes.

Best Actress

Brie Larson – Room

Rising indie queen Brie Larson plays a woman kidnapped and forced to raise her child in a single room, in this adaptation of the best-selling novel by Emma Donoghue. Larson took home Best Actress awards from the Golden Globes and Baftas earlier this year.

Best Supporting Actress

HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actress Alicia Vikander attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl

The Swedish actress was the breakout star of 2015 thanks to star turns in Ex Machina, Testament of Youth, The Man from UNCLE and this Tom Hooper-directed biopic. She played Gerda Wegener, an artist from Copenhagen whose husband is Lili Elbe, one of the first people to undergo sex reassignment surgery.

Best Supporting Actor

Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies

The renowned thesp was a mesmerising presence as the soft-spoken, inscrutable Russian spy defended by Tom Hanks in Steven Spielberg’s Cold War drama.

Best Original Screenplay


This gripping dramatisation of The Boston Globe’s investigation into child abuse in the Catholic Church stars Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo. The film’s down-the-line style is clearly inspired by another journalistic classic, 1976 Oscar-winner All The President’s Men.

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Big Short

A portrait of the “weirdos” who profited from the 2008 financial collapse, based on the bestselling book by Michael Lewis. Read our review of The Big Shor.

Best Visual Effects

Ex Machina

Ex Machina, an independent film with a small cast, won out against big budget blockbusters such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Mad Max: Fury Road, and The Revenant in the special effects category. Andrew Whitehurst, who is known for his work on bigger projects such as Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, spoke to The Verge about the importance of subtle special effects in smaller films: “What perhaps many cinema goers don’t notice is that more lower budget, less spectacle-heavy films are making much greater use of VFX.”

Best Costume Design

Mad Max: Fury Road (Jenny Beavan)

In George Miller’s antipodean dystopia, water is scarce and petrol is king. This long-awaited follow-up to his classic Eighties action/sci-fi trilogy stars Tom Hardy as the grizzled Max, but Charlize Theron steals the show as one-armed truck driver Imperator Furiosa.

Best Production Design

Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Make-up and Hairstyling

Mad Max: Fury Road

From Nux’s parched lips, boils and bleached complexion to the People Eater’s hideously swollen feet, the scabrous makeup work on Fury Road was a thing of wonder. In the opening scenes, Tom Hardy’s hairy Mad Max even out-bearded his Revenant character.

Best Cinematography

The Revenant

Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki is this year’s real success story: he is now the first cinematographer in history to win three consecutive Oscars, following gongs for Birdman (2015) and Gravity (2014). Seamlessly patching together extended shots with CGI, the Mexican cinematographer creates the illusion of long, swirling unbroken takes. His talent is undeniable, but it’s a shame this year’s shortlist couldn’t make room for a woman. Out of more than 500 nominees, across 88 years, there has never been a single female nominee.

Best Film Editing

Mad Max: Fury Road

Fury Road’s sharp, breathless editing is the secret behind some of the decade’s finest action sequences – but it also owes a debt to the classics of silent cinema. The worldless opening, in which a captured Max attempts to escape from the grotesque War Boys, is like Buster Keaton turned up to full throttle.

Best Sound Editing

It’s easy to get caught up in Fury Road’s visuals, but it’s the film’s aural impact that makes it so immersive: an orchestra of howling engines, interlaced with gunfire and Tom Hardy’s weary grunts.

Mad Max : Fury Road

Best Sound Mixing

In one scene of Mad Max: Fury Road, The Doof Warrior (one of the Oscars’ unsung heroes) plays a flaming guitar while bullets rain down around him. It’s an unforgettable moment, but balancing out the music and machine-guns must have taken time and effort at the mixing desk.

Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Animated Feature Film

Inside Out

Set inside the mind of a 11-year-old girl, Pixar’s emotional coming-of-age drama reduced even the toughest critics to tears. Amy Poehler voices the personification of Joy, alongside Mindy Kaling’s Disgust.

Best Animated Short Film

Bear Story

This cuddly animation is infact a parable about life under the 1970s Pinochet government in Chile. Gabriel Oroso and Pato Escala’s short animation tells the story of a lonely old bear who has built a diorama of his own life before he was taken from his family and sent to a circus. For a coin, other bears can peep into the diorama of the past. The bear is based on Oroso’s grandfather, who was exiled under Pinochet.

Best Documentary Short

A Girl in the River: the Price of Forgiveness

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s harrowing documentary takes a look into “honour killings” in Pakistan through the eyes of a surviving victim. 19-year-old Saba Qaiser was shot in the head and left for dead in a river by her father and uncle because she eloped with a married man. But then she is forced by public opinion to forgive her attackers. This is the second of Obaid-Chinoy’s films that has won an Academy Award.

Best Documentary Feature


Amy Winehouse’s glorious rise and heartbreaking fall is movingly documented by the director of Senna.

Best Live Action Short Film


Best Foreign Language Film

Son of Saul

This unyielding vision of the horror of Auschwitz-Birkenau is brave, bold and ruthless, telling the story of a Hungarian-Jewish prisoner who is kept alive to dispose of the remains of fellow Jews. Oscars programmers caused controversy on social media when they played Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries – the music they use as a cue when Oscar winners’ speeches run over time – over Lazlo Nemes’s acceptance speech. Wagner was Hitler’s favourite composer.

Best Original Score

The Hateful Eight (Ennio Morricone)

It’s been a long wait for composer Ennio Morricone, who has been nominated for six Academy Awards since 1979. Winning his first this year in the category of Best Original Score for Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, Morricone is 87 years old, making him the oldest ever Academy Award winner, beating Christopher Plummer who won at 82.

Best Original Song

Writing’s On The Wall (Sam Smith) – SPECTRE

Sam Smith’s theme to 2015’s SPECTRE Writing’s on the Wall broke records when it became the first Bond theme to get to number one in the charts. Now it follows Adele’s 2012 theme to Skyfall into the Oscars hall of fame. In his acceptance speech he dedicated his award to “the LGBT community around the world”, adding, “I stand here today as a proud gay man and I hope we can all stand together as equals one day. Thank you so much.”