#Oscars2016: Ireland celebrates 2 wins, while Spotlight wins Best Picture

Even before the ceremony began in Hollywood the Irish film industry was celebrating a landmark year. Last night they converted their record 9 nominations into 2 wins as Dublin born writer/director Benjamin Cleary won Best Live Action Short Film for his short Stutterer, and Brie Larson won Best Actress for Lenny Abrahamson’s Irish Film Board backed Room, produced by Dublin based Element Pictures.

88th Annual Academy Awards - Brie Larson Win
88th Annual Academy Awards – Brie Larson wins Best Actress for Room

Prior to the ceremony Best Picture was thought to be a three-horse race between The Revenant, The Big Short, and Spotlight. Tom McCarthy’s hard-hitting look at the Boston Globe’s investigation into clerical abuse, Spotlight, emerged victorious, with The Revenant winning Best Director, and The Big Short winning Best Adapted Screenplay. With Mad Max: Fury Road winning Best Editing the 3 main film achievement awards, Picture, Director, and Editing, were split for the first time since 1981. Spotlight also took Best Original Screenplay, bookending the night with its two wins.

Mad Max: Fury Road took 6 awards in total, twice as many as next rival The Revenant. The George Miller directed post-apocalyptic road movie won big in the technical categories, taking Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Film Editing, Costumes, Makeup and Hair, and Production Design.

As expected Leonardo DiCaprio finally won an Oscar for Best Actor, for his role in The Revenant. Alicia Vikander celebrated a break-out year in 2015 by picking up Best Supporting Actress for The Danish Girl, and Mark Rylance beat out the heavily-favourited Sylvester Stallone to nab Best Supporting Actor for Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies.

[quote title=”Ed Guiney – Element Pictures, Producer of Room”]We are so pleased for Brie and proud of her achievement. It is testimony to Lenny’s talent as a director and Emma’s as writer that ROOM has being so well received critically, performed so well at the box office and now pulled off this incredible coup of four Oscar nominations and one Oscar win for Brie.[/quote]

Ben Cleary - Oscar Win
88th Annual Academy Awards – Ben Cleary wins Best Short Live Action Film for Stutterer

After winning Best Director last year for Birdman, The Revenant director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu became only the third person in history to win back-to-back Oscars, joining a group that also includes John Ford and Joseph L. Mankiewicz.

Pixar celebrated another Best Animated Feature win as the quite brilliant Inside/Out won. Best Documentary went to Asif Kapadia for Amy, with Best Visual Effects going to the Domhnall Gleeson starring Ex Machina. After 6 nominations and an honourary Oscar Ennio Morricone finally won Best Score for his work on The Hateful Eight. Front-runner Son of Saul, from Hungary, took Best Foreign Language Feature.

The Irish Film Board were quick to congratulate and highlight the Irish winners:

[quote title=”James Hickey -Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board, Chief Executive”]Congratulations to Benjamin Cleary and Brie Larson on winning these prestigious awards. This award for Benjamin emphasises that the next generation of Irish filmmaking is in very good shape. Ireland has a very strong history in this category with ten short film nominations and one win since 2002, eight films of which were funded by the Irish Film Board. Brie’s much deserved win is a credit to Lenny Abrahamson and the entire team behind the Irish film ROOM produced by Element Pictures, which has become an international hit. I’m particularly proud of the fact that two out of the five nominees in the Best Actress category were for roles in Irish films. The nine Irish Oscar nominees associated with Ireland and Irish film are all world-class players who have been recognised for their talent at the most prestigious of film awards. Behind each nomination is a team of talent who should be justifiably proud, irrespective of the final outcome at the Awards. Last night’s Oscars was a momentous milestone for the Irish film sector and we are all very proud of what the nominees have achieved. They are wonderful ambassadors for Irish creative talent and innovation. The excitement around Irish creative talent in Los Angeles in the past week has been fantastic. The success of Irish talent at this year’s award season – starting in Cannes last year and bringing us all the way to the Oscars has put a focus on Irish creative talent. The international recognition is also a ‘win’ for Ireland, with the spotlight firmly on Irish creative talent as a result of all the nominations for Irish talent. Leading film publications in the USA are profiling Ireland ahead of the Oscars, including Variety, which hailed Ireland as a ‘Capital of filmmaking.[/quote]

The role of the Irish Film Board is to support the development and production of Irish film, television drama, documentary and animation. Given the sustained long-term investment that has contributed to the success of Irish creative talent in this year’s Academy Awards, the Irish Film Board is calling on the Government to fully restore its funding. It is currently 40% less than in 2008.

Benjamin Cleary also wrote the IFB funded animated short film “The Great Fall” currently in post-production and expected to premiere later this year.

Full List of Winners

Best Picture

Spotlight – Michael Sugar, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin and Blye Pagon Faust, Producers

Best Actor

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Best Actress

Brie Larson, Room

Best Directing

Alejandro G. Iñárritu, The Revenant

Best Original Song

“Writing’s On The Wall” from Spectre – Music and Lyric by Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith

Best Original Score

The Hateful Eight – Ennio Morricone

Best Foreign Language Film

Son of Saul (Hungary)

Best Live Action Short Film
Stutterer – Benjamin Cleary and Serena Armtiage

Best Documentary Feature
Amy – Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees

Best Documentary Short Subject

A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness – Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

Best Supporting Actor

Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

Best Animated Feature Film

Inside Out – Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera

Best Animated Short Film

Bear Story – Gabriel Osorio and Pato Escala

Best Visual Effects

Ex Machina – Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington and Sara Bennett

Best Sound Mixing

Mad Max: Fury Road – Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo

Best Sound Editing

Mad Max: Fury Road – Mark Mangini and David White

Best Film Editing

Mad Max: Fury Road – Margaret Sixel

Best Cinematography

The Revenant – Emmanuel Lubezki

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Mad Max: Fury Road – Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega and Damian Martin

Best Production Design

Mad Max: Fury Road – Production Design: Colin Gibson; Set Decoration: Lisa Thompson

Best Costume Design

Mad Max: Fury Road – Jenny Beavan

Best Supporting Actress

Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

Adapted Screenplay

The Big Short – Screenplay by Charles Randolph and Adam McKay

Best Original Screenplay

Spotlight – Written by Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy