March 01, 2016
LOS ANGELES - In an underdog win for a movie about an underdog profession, the newspaper drama 'Spotlight' took best picture Sunday at an Academy Awards riven by protest and outrage, and electrified by an unflinching Chris Rock.
Tom McCarthy's film about the Boston Globe's investigative reporting on sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests won over the favored frontier epic 'The Revenant.' McCarthy's well-crafted procedural, led by a strong ensemble cast, had lagged in the lead-up to the Oscars, losing ground to the flashier filmmaking of Alejandro Inarritu's film.
But 'Spotlight' — an ode to the hard-nose, methodical work of a journalism increasingly seldom practiced — took the night's top honor despite winning only one other Oscar for McCarthy and Josh Singer's screenplay. Such a sparsely-awarded best picture winner hasn't happened since 1952's 'The Greatest Show On Earth.'
"We would not be here today without the heroic efforts of our reporters," said producer Blye Pagon Faust. "Not only do they effect global change, but they absolutely show us the necessity for investigative journalism."
The night, however, belonged to host Rock, who launched immediately into the uproar over the lack of diversity in this year's nominees, and didn't let up. "The White People's Choice Awards," he called the Oscars, which were protested beforehand outside the Dolby Theatre by the Rev. Al Sharpton, and saw some viewers boycotting the broadcast.
Rock insured that the topic remained at the forefront throughout the evening, usually finding hearty laughs in the process. In an award show traditionally known for song-and-dance routines and high doses of glamour, Rock gave the 88th Academy Awards a charged atmosphere, keeping with the outcry that followed a second straight year of all-white acting nominees. - AP
The Express Tribune, April 9, 2018
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