Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu won the Academy Award for Best Director for The Revenant, making it the third consecutive win for a Mexican filmmaker for Best Director, and becoming the first filmmaker to win the Oscar back to back in this category in 65 years. Only American filmmakers Joseph L. Mankiewicz and John Ford had won the Oscar for Best Director in two consecutive years in 1950 and 1951, and 1939 and 1940, respectively.
"They don’t listen to you. They see the color of our skin. So what a great opportunity to our generation to really liberate ourself from all prejudice and this tribal thinking" Iñarritu said on stage and make sure for once and forever that the color of skin becomes as irrelevant as the length of our hair." This was Iñárritu's fourth Oscar win, after the three Oscars he won last year for Birdman (for Best Picture, Director, and Original Screenplay).
The Revenant, which was the most nominated film of the evening in 12 categories, took home three statuettes in total. Mexican DP Emmanuel Lubezki made history this evening by winning his third consecutive Oscar for Best Cinematography for Iñarritu’s film (after Gravity in 2014, and Birdman in 2015) and becoming the first cinematographer to achieve the three-peat in the history of the Academy Awards. “This is incredible,” Lubezki said in his acceptance speech, “I want to share it with the cast and crew, especially my compadre, Mr. Iñárritu.”
Chilean filmmakers Gabriel Osorio and Pato Escala won the Oscar for Best Short Film for Historia de un oso / Bear Story, becoming the first Chilean production to ever win an Academy Award, notwithstanding that the Chilean-born cinematographer Claudio Miranda won an Academy Award in 2013 for Lif of Pi.
The 88th Academy Awards were presented this evening in Los Angeles, California.