Oscar 2016: Surprises

As expected, Leonado DiCaprio, Brie Larson and Alicia Vikander took home acting awards, while DGA winner Alejandro G. Innaritu repeated his best director win.

SURPRISE: Mark Rylance, Supporting Actor, “Bridge of Spies”

Not unlike his character in “Bridge of Spies,” Rylance was a quiet but powerful force during awards season, racking up SAG, Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations. And while he won the latter, that’s hardly a surprise – he’s practically a god in his native England.

Oscars Academy Awards Placeholder

SURPRISE: “Mad Max: Fury Road” Below-the-Line Sweep

While favored to win in some categories, the futuristic action flick ended up collecting the majority of below-the-line prizes. Margaret Sixel won for editing, an award that often goes to the best picture winner. The film also won makeup/hairstyling, sound editing and sound mixing awards, as expected. But more surprising was costume designer Jenny Beavan’s triumph in over dual nominee Sandy Powell and the production design win for Colin Gibson and Lisa Thompson, as many expected the Academy to go with a more traditional period piece like “The Danish Girl” or “Bridge of Spies.”

SURPRISE: “Ex Machina” for Visual Effects
Up against such high-budget powerhouses as “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “The Revenant,” “The Martian” and “Mad Max: Fury Road,” it was A24’s indie sci-fi pic that took home the prize. A huge achievement, considering its $15 million budget is probably what those other films spent on craft services.

"Spotlight" took home best original screenplay at the beginning of the night and best picture at the end of the night.

SURPRISE: “Writing on the Wall,” Best Song/SNUB: Lady Gaga and Diane Warren, “Til It Happens to You”
The widely reviled song from James Bond film “Spectre” (one person backstage commented that “it wasn’t even the best song released that week”) pulled an upset. Among others, it beat out “Til It Happens to You” by Lady Gaga and eight-time nominee Diane Warren.