In a massive boost for the local film industry, Mad Max: Fury Road has won six gongs – Best Costume Design, Production Design, Makeup and Hairstyling, Film Editing, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing.
“Thank-you so much to the Academy,” said Margaret Sixel, wife of Mad Max director George Miller, in her acceptance speech for the Film Editing prize.
“Mad Max was best reviewed film of 2015. Audiences loved it and to be honoured tonight is just more than we ever hoped for.
“It took enormous creative courage and guts to make this film so I just want to say a thanks to George Miller, Doug Mitchell and the whole crew that did six months in the Namibian desert to bring back the most amazing footage.”
Lesley Vanderwalt, who won the Makeup and Hairstyling prize along with Elka Wardega and Damian Martin, was equally as exuberant in her acceptance speech: “You can pop the corks at home – we’re bringing back gold.”
On the red carpet into the Dolby Theatre, Best Director nominee George, 70, said he was just glad to be invited to the party.
“I’m really happy,” he gushed as the celebrations began soon afterward. “My boys have the coolest mum.”
As expected host Chris Rock opened his monologue with reference to the much discussed diversity issue.
But few expected the comedian to unleash so many barbs, including attacks on racism and sexism.
“I’m here at the Academy Awards, otherwise known as the White People’s Choice Awards!” was an opening shot.
“If they nominated hosts, I wouldn’t even get this job. Y’all would be watching Neil Patrick Harris right now.”
But if the stars were squirming at that, Chris was only just getting warmed up.
“This is the 88th Academy Awards, which means this whole no black nominees thing happened at least 71 other times. Black people did not protest, because we had real things to protest at the time.
“Too busy being raped and lynched. When your grandmother’s swinging from a tree, you don’t care about Best Documentary Short.”
For a full list of Oscar winners click here.