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Oscars 2016

The 12 Best & Worst Moments from the 2016 Oscars

From Leo finally winning to Sam Smith somehow winning, from "Mad Max" cleaning up to a weird racist joke, here are the highs and lows from the 88th annual Academy Awards

1 / 12

Best: Leonardo DiCaprio finally wins an Oscar.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actor Leonardo DiCaprio accepts the Best Actor award for 'The Revenant' onstage during the 88th
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

I’ve made a lot of jokes over the years about how funny it is that Three 6 Mafia owns more Academy Awards than Leo, but clearly, the joke needed to end at some point. In winning Best Actor for The Revenant—a well-deserved triumph—DiCaprio delivered a moving speech that segued into climate change politics without becoming too preachy.

2 / 12

Best: Chris Rock’s scathing opening monologue.

Actor Chris Rock presents on stage at the 88th Oscars on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO / MARK RALSTON

The Oscars have been relatively neutered in recent years, but Chris Rock brought the heat in his monologue, skewering the show for skewing so Caucasian. He declared that Hollywood is racist, clowned Jada Pinkett Smith and got real at the end: “It’s not about boycotting anything. We want opportunity. … Not just once! Leo gets a great part every year!” This year, Rock was given a big part, and it was great because of him.

3 / 12

Worst: The joke about Asian kids.

After multiple jokes about how Hollywood is racist, Chris Rock then presented a trio of Asian kids in tuxedos, and joked about how they’re good at math, because they’re Asian. Um. Huh?

4 / 12

Best: ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ cleaning up.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 22: A general view of Oscar Statuettes backstage during the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Thea
Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Although Spotlight won the big prize of the night, Mad Max: Fury Road has to be feeling pretty good about itself on Monday morning. The wild action film scored the most actual Oscars, with six wins coming in the technical categories. In our hearts we know that Charlize Theron was the best supporting actress of the year, but now’s no time to quibble.

5 / 12

Best: ‘Spotlight’ pulling off the Best Picture upset.

Members of the cast and producers of Spotlight accept the award for Best Picture at the 88th Oscars on February 28, 2016 in H

Even if you didn’t think Spotlight was better than The Revenant (we did), it was sort of cool to have a surprise Best Picture winner, right? You have to go way back to 2005, when Crash trumped Brokeback Mountain, for a real Oscars upset like this. Thankfully, Spotlight is about 80 times better than Crash, so it’s all good!

6 / 12

Worst: Sly losing to Mark Rylance.

Yeah, sometimes upsets are cool, and sometimes they’re simply not deserved. Celebrated stage vet Mark Rylance was an arresting presence in Bridge of Spies, but his performance was nowhere near as compelling as Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky return in Creed… and his acceptance speech left us wishing Sly had pulled off the win. Oh well.

7 / 12

Best: Lady Gaga’s spectacular performance.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Singer-songwriter Lady Gaga performs onstage during the 88th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The room got very dusty following Gaga’s performance of “Til It Happens To You,” from the campus rape documentary The Hunting Ground: The pop superstar invited sexual assault survivors onstage to take part in the moving anthem. Gaga’s song didn’t win, but the performance rightfully earned one of the night’s few standing ovations.

8 / 12

Worst: Sam Smith winning Best Original Song.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Songwriter Jimmy Napes (L) and singer-songwriter Sam Smith accept the Best Original Song award f
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

“Writing’s On The Wall” instead of “Til It Happens To You”? Come on. Adding insult to injury was Smith’s factually incorrect assertion that he is the first openly gay Oscar winner. Dustin Lance Black would like a word, Sam.

9 / 12

Best: Ennio Morricone’s win at 87 years old.

Ennio Morricone (L) accepts the award for Best Original Score, The Hateful Eight, from producer Quincy Jones (R) and Singer P

The masterful Italian composer finally earned Oscar gold for his score to The Hateful Eight, making him one of the oldest recipients of an Academy Award ever. His speech, delivered in Italian, was just as touching as the sight of the legend on the Oscars stage.

10 / 12

Worst: Stacey Dash’s random appearance.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actress Stacey Dash speaks onstage during the 88th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The audience at the Dolby Theatre was confused by the Fox News correspondent popping up, and so were we. Chris Rock quickly moved on from the gag; let’s do the same.

11 / 12

Best: Jacob Tremblay being cute.

Actor Jacob Tremblay (L) and Actor Abraham Attah present on stage at the 88th Oscars on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, Calif

Seriously, that kid is very adorable! The nine-year-old co-star of Room got to dress up, stand in awe of the Star Wars robots and thank Chris Rock for making Madagascar. Do you thing, Tremblay. Do your thing.

12 / 12

Worst: The marathon telecast.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: (L-R) BB-8, R2-D2 and C-3PO from 'Star Wars' appear onstage during the 88th Annual Academy Award
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Guys, please. Three hours. Just keep to three hours next year. This year, festivities started at 8:30 EST and ended past midnight. Three hours. That’s all we ask.

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