- The Washington Times - Monday, February 29, 2016

In a shocking upset, “Spotlight” took home Best Picture at Sunday night’s Academy Awards.

The film was up for six awards, but only took home two, bested by “The Revenant” in the major categories and “Mad Max: Fury Road” in the technical awards.

The other award “Spotlight” won was best original screenplay, won by Tom McCarthy, who also directed the film, and Josh Singer. Not since “The Greatest Show on Earth” in 1952 had the Best Picture winner won so few other awards.

“Spotlight” is named after the Boston Globe’s investigative team that did a year-long project on sex abuse by Catholic priests and the Boston Archdiocese’s covering up of the claims and mishandling of predator priests.

“This film gave a voice to survivors, and this award amplifies that voice, a choir that should resonate all the way to the Vatican,” producer Michael Sugar said onstage accepting the Oscar.

“Pope Francis, it’s time to protect the children and restore the faith,” he said.

The other seven nominated films were “The Big Short,” “Bridge of Spies,” “Brooklyn,” “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “The Martian,” “Room,” and “Spotlight.”

“Spotlight” was expected to win the script prize — having also won the BAFTA and the Golden Globe.

But “The Revenant” was favored to win Best Picture, having picked up the British Oscar and the Golden Globe for best drama, a prediction that seemed cemented moments earlier when its director, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, accepted the best-director prize.

“Mad Max: Beyond Fury Road” cleaned up in the technical categories, winning six prizes — costumes, production design, makeup/hair, film editing, sound mixing and sound editing.

Among other films, only “The Revenant” won as many as three.

Overall “The Revenant” led all films with 12 nominations, followed by “Mad Max: Fury Road” with 10 and “The Martian” with seven. “Bridge of Spies” and “Spotlight” were both up for six awards, with “The Big Short” competing in five categories, “Room” in four and “Brooklyn” in three.


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