Real journalists behind the Boston Globe’s expose of the Catholic sex abuse cases were honored at the Academy Awards Sunday night, as Ennio Morricone, the film composer every film composer has been influenced by, finally won an Oscar and Capitol’s Sam Smith won yet another trophy for his James Bond theme. Lia Vollack at Sony Pictures was the exec responsible for Sam doing the song. And for the record, Diane Warren is now 0 for 8.

Fresh off the BRITS, the Brits swept the music categories, with Smith, Amy and the Morricone ST, all from UMG. Major props to David Joseph (who led the effort to bring Amy to the screen) Nick Raphael and Jo Charrington (who signed Smith) on the big night.

Said Raphael, on behalf of Charrington and himself, "We are honored that our incredible artist Sam and his hugely talented ‎writing partner Jimmy Napes have the most prestigious award in film for any songwriter. It's a dream fulfilled for all concerned."

Spotlight won the Best Picture and Original Screenplay Oscars while The Revenant was well represented by Best Director for Alejandro Inarritu, who won his second directing Oscar last year for Birdman (the first was for 2006's Babel; he also won a screenplay trophy last year for Birdman) and Best Actor Leonardo DiCaprio in his first Oscar win ever. Mad Max: Fury Road had the night’s biggest tally with six wins in technical categories such as makeup, sound and production design.

Smith and Jimmy Napes followed up their Golden Globes win for “Writing’s on the Wall” from Spectre with the Oscar, the second time a Bond theme has won the Oscar, as Adele’s “Skyfall” won both awards as well three years ago. It’s the third time in the last four years that an artist has won both awards.

In his acceptance speech, Smith said he was led to believe he was the first openly gay man—an assessment since refuted—to win an Oscar, and he dedicated his win “to the LGBT community. I stand as a proud gay man and hope we can stand as equals.”

Smith performed his song early in the broadcast followed by a tuxedo-clad The Weeknd, who did his tune from Fifty Shades of Grey, “Earned It,” in a solemn tone with slow-moving sultry dancers. Lady Gaga’s performance of “Til It Happens to You,” which Diane Warren wrote with her, stirred the strongest emotions of the night as victims of sexual abuse on college campuses appeared with the singer, their arms temporarily tattooed with words of warning, advice and support. By mid-morning on Monday the Interscope recording was in the iTunes Top 10, while Smith's Bond theme (via Capitol) was #14.

Morricone, 87, whose composing career began in the late 1950s, had been nominated five times previously, and his win for scoring Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight was greeted with a standing ovation and warm applause from the likes of John Williams, the 84-year-old composer who received his 50th nomination this year.

After the show, Decca U.K. MD Rebecca Allen saluted the legendary film composer: "Maestro Morricone is one of the most significant composers of a generation. His ability, passion and skill to create the music that he does is something that continues to astound us all. As a label we are incredibly privileged to have worked with him so closely on this album, and we are all thrilled he is being recognized in such an outstanding way."

As anyone following the news knows, this year’s collection of nominations was staggeringly Caucasian, and host Chris Rock fired away at the whites-only nature of the potential honorees for the films or 2015. “Is Hollywood racist,” Rock asked toward the end of a string of more than a dozen race-related zingers in the show’s first two segments. “It’s a different type of racists,” he decided, reminiscing about a President Obama fund-raiser that had fewer than five or six black faces. It was not that anyone wanted African-Americans excluded, just that few had attained a level of power equal to theirs. As if to distinguish them from a crowd in other parts of America, Rock said of Hollywood, “and these are the nicest white people on Earth.”

Rock’s race-related humor, no different from anything he has built his career on, was refreshingly broad in its appeal. In years when Billy Crystal hosted, the show relied on an insiders knowledge of show business and recent headlines in Variety. Rock’s appeal was more like that of Bob Hope, a Hollywood humorist and insider whose film work never connected with the Oscar gatekeepers—timely and caustic without crossing boundaries of taste. (His mumbled reference that compared Smith to George Michael went over the heads of the audience).

Rock’s sharpest comments honed in on the possibility that a good 71 of the previous 87 Academy Awards were devoid of people of color as well, suggesting that in the 1960s “we had real things to protest at the time.” The race card played out further in spoofs of scenes from Joy, The Revenant, The Danish Girl and The Martian, interviews with movie-goers in Compton and Suge Knight jokes. (Personally, we loved the fact that one of the Compton film fans said Superfly was the greatest movie ever, but we digress).

In other musical moments, Amy, Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees’ film about Amy Winehouse, executive produced by UMG U.K. topper David Joseph and shepherded by Lucian Grainge's Universal Music Group, became the third music documentary in four years to win the documentary Oscar. And Dave Grohl sang Lennon & McCartney’s “Blackbird” during the show’s In Memoriam segment.

Throughout the night the orchestra performed Oscar-winning songs, a relatively benign way to get from one winner’s speech to the next presenter. One of the Mad Max winners spoke of the implications within the film, that global climate change is a reality that deserves our attention now and cannot be ignored. It was unfortunately followed by the tune of “Que Sera, Sera.”

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