The 88th Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), honored the best films of 2015 and took place on February 28, 2016, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, having begun at 5:30 p.m. PST / 8:30 p.m. EST. During the ceremony, AMPAS presented Academy Awards (commonly referred to as Oscars) in 24 categories. The ceremony was televised in the United States by ABC, and produced by David Hill and Reginald Hudlin and directed by Glenn Weiss. Actor Chris Rock hosted the show for the second time, having previously hosted the 77th ceremony held in 2005.
In related events, the Academy held its 7th Annual Governors Awards ceremony at the Grand Ballroom of the Hollywood and Highland Center on November 14, 2015. On February 13, 2016, in a ceremony at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, the Academy Awards for Technical Achievement were presented by hosts Olivia Munn and Jason Segel.
Mad Max: Fury Road won six awards, the most for the evening, and The Revenant won three out of 12 total nominations. Other winners include Spotlight, which won two, including Best Picture, with A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness, Amy, Bear Story, The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, The Danish Girl, Ex Machina, The Hateful Eight, Inside Out, Room, Son of Saul, Spectre, and Stutterer each winning one.
After working as a standup comic and appearing in small film roles, Rock came to wider prominence as a cast member of Saturday Night Live in the early 1990s. He went on to more prominent film appearances, with roles in Down to Earth (2001), Head of State (2003), the Madagascar film series (2005–2012), Grown Ups (2010), its sequel Grown Ups 2 (2013), and Top Five (2014), and a series of acclaimed comedy specials for HBO. He also developed, wrote, narrated, and executive produced the sitcom Everybody Hates Chris (2005–2009). Rock hosted the 77th Academy Awards in 2005 and will return as host for the 88th ceremony.
He was voted the fifth-greatest stand-up comedian in a poll conducted by Comedy Central. He was also voted in the United Kingdom as the ninth greatest stand-up comic on Channel 4’s 100 Greatest Stand-Ups in 2007, and again in the updated 2010 list as the eighth greatest stand-up comic.
Spotlight is a 2015 American biographical crime drama film directed by Tom McCarthy and written by McCarthy and Josh Singer. The film may follow The Boston Globe's "Spotlight" team, the oldest continuously operating newspaper investigative journalist unit in the United States, and its investigation into cases of widespread and systemic child sex abuse in the Boston area by numerous Roman Catholic priests. It is based on a series of stories by the real Spotlight Team that earned The Globe the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. The film stars Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci, Brian d'Arcy James, Liev Schreiber, and Billy Crudup.
Spotlight was shown in the Out of Competition section of the 72nd Venice International Film Festival. It was also shown at the Telluride Film Festival and the Special Presentations section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. The film was released on November 6, 2015, by Open Road Films. It won numerous guilds and critics' association awards, and was named one of the finest films of 2015 by various publications. The film won the Academy Award for Best Picture along with Best Original Screenplay from a total of six nominations at the 88th Academy Awards.
Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio (//; born November 11, 1974) is an American actor and film producer. He has been nominated for numerous awards, and has won three Golden Globe Awards. DiCaprio began his career by appearing in television commercials, after which he had recurring roles in TV series such as the soap opera Santa Barbara and the sitcom Growing Pains in the early 1990s. He began his film career by starring as Josh in Critters 3 before starring in the film adaptation of the memoir This Boy's Life (1993) alongside Robert De Niro. DiCaprio was praised for his supporting role in the drama What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), and gained public recognition with leading roles in the drama The Basketball Diaries (1995) and the romantic drama Romeo + Juliet (1996), before achieving international fame with James Cameron's epic romance Titanic (1997), which became the highest-grossing film to that point.
Since the 2000s, DiCaprio has received critical acclaim for his work in a wide range of film genres. His subsequent films include The Man in the Iron Mask (1998), the biographical crime drama Catch Me If You Can (2002) and the epic historical drama Gangs of New York (2002) which also marked his first of many collaborations with director Martin Scorsese. DiCaprio was also acclaimed for his performances in the political war thriller Blood Diamond (2006), the neo-noir crime drama The Departed (2006), the espionage thriller Body of Lies (2008), the drama Revolutionary Road (2008), the psychological thriller Shutter Island (2010), the science fiction thriller Inception (2010), the biographical film J. Edgar (2011), the western Django Unchained (2012), and the period drama The Great Gatsby (2013).
DiCaprio's portrayal of Howard Hughes in The Aviator (2004) and Hugh Glass in The Revenant (2015) won him two Golden Globe Awards for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama, and his role as Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) won him the award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. He has also been nominated for six Academy Awards — five for acting and one for producing. In addition to acting, DiCaprio is the founder of his own production company, named Appian Way Productions. He is also a committed environmentalist.