The leap year of 2016 squarely belongs to two distinct performers, at least in the history of the Academy Awards – Leonardo DiCaprio and Lady Gaga. After years and years of patience, Leo finally broke the jinx and took home a truly well-deserved Oscar for his incredible performance in “The Revenant”. The actor used the opportunity to talk about climate change and ended his speech by saying, “I thank you all for this amazing award tonight. Let us not take this planet for granted. I do not take tonight for granted. Thank you so very much.”
A little earlier in the evening, Lady Gaga gave this year’s 80 million viewers goosebumps with her performance of “Till It Happens To You”, a message about sexual assault, where she was joined by dozens of survivors on stage. As much as entertainment is a part of the Oscar ceremony, it was a powerful departure from tradition to see the platform being used to send out such a strong message. American Vice President Joe Biden had introduced her performance.
But before any of this had happened, we were thrilled to see Bollywood star and now international actress Priyanka Chopra present an award at the glittering ceremony, held at the iconic Dolby Theatre. Looking stunning in a Zuhair Murad, Priyanka presented the award along with Hollywood actor Liev Schreiber.
Here are some other interesting highlights from the 88th Academy Awards:
THE NEIGHBOURS WIN
After picking a Grammy for his heart-wrenching documentary “Amy” on the late Amy Winehouse, Indian-origin director Asif Kapadia added an Oscar to his kitty tonight. Pakistani filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy won her second Oscar tonight for her documentary “A Girl in the River”.
INDO-BRITISH ACTOR REMEMBERED
The late Saeed Jaffrey, who passed away in London last year, was remembered at the ceremony during the ‘In Memoriam’ montage this year. Jaffrey has been part of cult films like “Shatranj Ke Khiladi” and “Gandhi”. After the tribute, his daughter Sakina, who is also an actress, posted on her Facebook page, “Nice to see that there was one Indian actor at the Oscars where it seemed as if the were only White and Black actors and no colors in between!”
Indian design on the red carpet
Actress Charlotte Riley, wife of Tom Hardy (nominated for Best Supporting Actor), was spotted in a stunning black creation by Delhi-based designer sister duo Gauri-Nainika. Even Kate Winslet went the Indian route and was seen sporting beautiful jewellery by Indian designer Nirav Modi.