Londoner Sam Smith Dedicates Bond Oscar To LGBT Community

By Stuart Black Last edited 28 months ago
Londoner Sam Smith Dedicates Bond Oscar To LGBT Community

During an Academy Awards show all about the lack of diversity in the film industry, gay Londoner Sam Smith made a point by dedicating his award to the LGBT community.

He seemed shocked by the gong, which he received along with co-writer Jimmy Napes, for their Spectre theme song, Writing's On The Wall.

Smith said: "I read an article a few months ago by Sir Ian McKellen and he said that no openly gay man had ever won an Oscar, and if this is the case, even if it isn’t the case, I want to dedicate this to the LGBT community all around the world. I stand here, I stand here tonight as a proud gay man, and I hope we can all stand together as equals one day."

Smith got his facts wrong — there have been plenty of openly gay winners before, though none have won in the acting categories. Neither this, nor a performance where he looked like he desperately needed to pee, took away from the fact that it was good to see him win.

The night's main winners were the tech team behind Mad Max: Fury Road (who got six awards) and Leonardo DiCaprio, who was a popular choice as best actor for his work in The Revenant. Best film went to child abuse drama Spotlight, while Alejandro González Iñárritu picked up the best director award for putting DiCaprio and Tom Hardy through hell on the The Revenant's bleak winter shoot.

Other Londoners who came away from the night happy were ex-Globe director Mark Rylance, who snatched best supporting actor from favourite Sly Stallone for his work in Bridge Of Spies. Meanwhile Alicia Vikander, who was born in Sweden but now lives in the capital, won best supporting actress for her work in The Danish Girl.

The London based VFX house Double Negative also caused an upset by beating, among others, Star Wars: The Force Awakens to the prize for best visual effects for their work on the relatively tiny film Ex Machina, directed by Alex Garland.

Meanwhile, Asif Kapadia won best documentary feature for Amy, his film about the life and death of singer Amy Winehouse. Best short film went to the team that made Stutterer, a love story set here in the capital.

The official London Oscars party in Soho's Ham Yard Hotel in Soho, hosted by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science with Swarovski and Piper-Heidsieck. Photos by Natalie Martinez.

Another local winner was Jenny Beavan, who picked up an award for her costumes on Mad Max and caused a stir by opting to wear a leather jacket rather than a frock (seemingly not having learned anything from Stephen Fry's cry of "bag lady" at the BAFTAs).

Among the presenters, Andy Serkis and Sacha Baron Cohen acquitted themselves particularly well with amusing swipes against Donald Trump and the #OscarsSoWhite controversy; the latter appearing as his alter-ego Ali G and nicely re-purposing his "is it 'cos I is black?” shtick.

Chris Rock enjoyed hammering home the point about non-white actors hardly getting a look in this year though it has to be said, what started off as a bold stance did become a bit boring by the end of the night, a fair few of his skits missing the mark (for example, wheeling out three east Asian kids to no particular purpose).

It was in all a fairly painless night, though one the Academy will no doubt be glad is over, after taking so much heat for the lack of minority faces. It remains to be seen if the industry can change and get its act together to avoid more humiliation next year.

Last Updated 01 March 2016