Oscars 2016: The 20 Best, Worst and Most Inspiring Moments

A Modern Family star’s new beef. An SNL funnywoman’s cameo. A whopper of a fact-checking snafu.

These were just a few of the unforgettable happenings of the 2016 Oscars, and TVLine kept our eyes open — A Clockwork Orange-style — to make sure we didn’t miss even one of ’em.

Who deserved a Best Actress at the Podium statuette? What performance deserves a place in the Oscar history books? Which Chris Rock zinger was edgiest — and which made us wince?

Check out the gallery below for our picks — or click here for direct access — then hit the comments and tell us where we got it right, who we snubbed and which of our opinions made you yell “blasphemy!”

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Duke says:

    The Star Wars droid bit to talk about John Williams was a very clear message: “Sorry John. We know it’s your 50th nomination and at 84 you might not be back next year, but we had to give it to another all-time great who hadn’t won before. Here’s a shout-out instead.”

  2. msemmyjones says:

    A little embarrassing for Smith for sure. Ian McKellen was only referring to actors with him statement. Two queer actresses have won (Linda Hunt and Angelina Jolie) and a handful of people in Smith’s own category (Elton John, Melissa Ethridge, etc) among others.

    • Alichat says:

      Odd that Smith didn’t Google that immediately after reading the article. That’s what I would have done had I read such a sweeping statement, even if I could immediately name three previous openly gay winners. And on a side note, his song was the worst of the nominees IMO.

      • Emma says:

        horrible song for a horrible movie. I haven’t heard any of the other nominated songs but they must be really bad to lose out to Smith’s song.

    • Sara says:

      Was Linda Hunt out at the time when she won? I’m just curious. Ian McKellen’s statement was definitely only about the acting awards, but now I am curious if he meant both Actor and Actress categories or just Actor. I felt bad for Sam Smith as soon as he started to mention Ian McKellen. It was a good message, he just biffed it a bit.

  3. Mr. Tran K says:

    BEST: Lady Gaga and Sam Smith

  4. Annie says:

    The two little boys (unscriptedly) talking about Madagascar (and Chris Rock) before they presented the award was *adorable*.

  5. Mak says:

    Louis CK’s was the funniest host, he had the best lol moment of the night. The part about documentary short winner going home in a Honda civic floored me..

  6. Sally McLinn says:

    What I fear is that from now on, the Awards nominations will count how many BLACK people were nominated. In 2016 — is anybody BLACK making an Academy worthy movie? Let’s hope so.

  7. Tom says:

    You don’t know, maybe he watched Imagine Me & You and Blue is the Warmest Color this year

  8. peterwdawson says:

    You know, maybe if they hadn’t given the award to the worst Bond theme song since 2002, Sam Smith wouldn’t have made the error.

    • Tom says:

      not like there was a better song this year, nor could they give it Everything Is Awesome which hands down beats all of this year’s nominees.

  9. Dude says:

    I appreciate the sentiment behind the Lady Gaga performance but the performance itself is horrible. No one wants to watch someone desperately try to make themselves cry to create an Oscars “moment”

  10. Liz985 says:

    So glad I didn’t watch this. All the social justice warrior posturing and lecturing… The Academy Awards are no longer about movies, but about virtue signaling.

    • c-mo says:

      Exactly the reason I didn’t watch. And it’s only going to get worse now that there will be a quota on how many black actors are nominated, ignoring any and all other minorities, not to mention the “thank you” scrolls! The whole telecast is going to be one loooooong boring political ad for each recipient’s pet agenda. Major fail! I don’t watch these types of shows for a political speech, I watch for the entertainment; politics for me is not entertainment, it’s torture.

    • HTGR says:

      I’m not sure things are as so white as they claim either.

      While 78% of leading roles go to whites and they make up only 63% of the current population, not long ago they made up 80% of the population and much of the demographic shift is recent and involves those too young to be up for leading roles or recent immigrants not likely to have made a go at Hollywood yet so the expected figure is probably actually relatively close to 78%.

      Also black have recently been getting 14.3% of leading roles while making up 12.6% of the population.

      Asians get 1.3% of leading roles but make up 4.75% of the U.S. population.

      Women make up around 50% of the population but get something like only 30% of speaking roles.

      These and other stats seem to give a somewhat different impression compared to the one given last night.

      Also movies can be so target it makes it all tricky. If a movie is about the Revolutionary war. It’s simply going to way skew things towards male and white. It’s not a field where everything will just end up being an exact demographic match. That said there surely is some “sorority type” racism and such that goes on.

    • Liz985 says:

      Movie making, first and foremost, should always be about great storytelling. Great *human* storytelling. I don’t care who’s in a role as long as it’s good casting (i.e., the actor should be talented; charisma is extra points) and in context of the story being told. If Hollywood focused a fraction of their time making good solid stories that they spend on bean counting skin color, gender, sexual identity, etc., they’d be a lot better off as an industry.

  11. Regan says:

    The Revanent filmed in Alberta, Canada, so i’m not sure what southern point they had to go to to get snow

  12. Worst moments – Best Supporting Actor – Academy, you don’t get to gasp in shock when you did the voting. Sly was built up as the winner – this was sad. Best song – come’on people, that Bond song was horrible and Sam Smith butchered it further singing it live.

  13. Rafael says:

    Mad Max Fury Road’s crewmembers did better than Mad Max Fury road’s castmembers because they earn the most 6 awards last night.

    The Revenant has the most nominations, but ended up in second place with 3 wins. Leonardo Di Carpio acted the best in Revenant, even since his trouble acting life in Growing Pains.

    Brie Larson acted the best in Room and I’m glad both she and Kat Dennings officially moved on from that horrible short-lived WB sitcom Raising Dad.

    Spotlight won the best picture officially.

    Yeah the Oscars did not get enough positive appraised reviews when African-Americans weren’t nominated this year, no offense.

  14. aunt_deen says:

    HOW did you miss the comedy gold of Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling? Did you stop watching after his explanation of what “adapted” meant? Did you miss Ryan’s hilariously obtuse “agree to disagree” dismissal of Russell’s correction?

    It was arguably the funniest presenter schtick of the whole show.

    • rusty_cd says:

      Thank you! That is what I was thinking. I definitely laughed more in their bit than anyone else’s!

    • HTGR says:

      Exactly, everyone I know thought they pulled it off well. And from everything I’ve been reading, it seems everyone was singling them out as one of the few duos who actually have ever been able to pull off the Oscar pair comedy bits! So how does this get called one of the worst things of the night when everyone is raving about how they were one of the few pairs to ever pull those bits off successfully??

  15. Steve F. says:

    No mention of Chris Rock sending out the Girl Scouts to sell cookies (and raising $65,000 – not to mention making a lot of hungry Oscar attendees very happy)?

  16. Hedy S. says:

    Aw poor Leo Dicaprio, having to travel in yachts and private jets, burning up thousands of gallons of fossil fuels, all the while preaching to us little folks about global warming. Also, how did you and your production crew travel to the setting for your movie? By rowboat? I think not.

    • anon says:

      Not going to lie, i do always laugh when celebrities preach about climate change and being green for those exact reasons you stated. And I know that climate is real and a thing that is currently happening. It’s sort of the same thing when they go “Oh all natural is great!” I only shower once a week!” Once a week while you go to set every day and have a stylist do your hair.

  17. HTGR says:


    Oh, Chris Rock, we were going to let slide your monologue dig at the “Ask Her More” movement, but we’ve got to call you on the carpet for this cringe-worthy bit of misogyny from later in the telecast: “Of all the girl-on-girl movies I watched this year, I’ve got to say Carol was about the third best.” #DefiniteNo”

    Oh come on, how PC can you get. It was just a joke and hardly the most OMG he didn’t by any stretch. Relax.

  18. HTGR says:

    “Lady Gaga’s performance of “Til It Happens to You” — from the documentary The Hunting Ground — was affecting in its own right. But when she was joined on stage by dozens of survivors of sexual assault, it became not just one of the great moments of the 2016 Academy Awards, but one for the Oscar ages.”

    and, from I’ve been reading, one also quickly proven hollow when they conveniently left out a Hollywood victim of such abuse, one of their own abused by one in power in their own system, and left the person out of their In Memoriam section.

  19. zeph says:

    About DiCaprio had to go down south for snow was a little ridiculous. In one of the articles, he stated that Alberta has no snow that time due to the oil and gas production there and global warming, but the real reason behind there was no snow that time was because of chinook wind. A natural occurrence that has happened in Alberta for the longest time. I’m not even Albertan nor Canadian, but a five days trip to Alberta had me understood that fact.