Brad Pitt won the first acting Oscar of his career – picking up the best supporting actor trophy for his role in Quentin Tarantino’s movie.
He was the first winner of the night, and immediately used his speech to attack the way the impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump were handled.
Brad Pitt referred to the fact that Republican senators voted against allowing witnesses including former National Security Adviser John Bolton to give evidence.
He said: “They told me I only have 45 seconds up here, which is 45 seconds more than the Senate gave John Bolton this week.
“I’m thinking maybe Quentin does a movie about it and in the end the adults do the right thing.”
Brad Pit, 56, moved from the political to the personal, paying tribute to co-star Leonardo DiCaprio and reflecting on his journey to Hollywood superstardom.
Joaquin Phoenix, who won best actor for his remarkable performance in the origin story about Batman’s nemesis, also used the podium to send a heartfelt message about the state of the world, saying actors have the power to give a “voice for the voiceless”.
After telling the audience to stop clapping him as he took to the stage – “Don’t do that” – Joaquin Phoenix managed to cover topics from animal rights and the environment to racism and sexism.
The vegan activist told the audience that “we feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow, and when she gives birth, we steal her baby even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable”.
The actor also pointed out his own flaws: “I’ve been a scoundrel in my life. I’ve been cruel at times and hard to work with, but so many people in this room have given me a second chance.”
Joaquin Phoenix ended his speech by quoting a lyric written by his late brother River: “Run to the rescue and love and peace will follow.”
Laura Dern won best supporting actress for playing a divorce lawyer in Marriage Story.
A day before her 53rd birthday, the actress said the award is the best birthday present ever.
Laura Dern comes from an illustrious acting family, but in winning managed something her parents have not. Mother Diane Ladd has been nominated for three Academy Awards, and dad Bruce Dern has two unsuccessful nominations.
She told the audience: “Some say never meet your heroes.
“But I say if you’re really blessed, you get them as your parents.”
Renee Zellweger used her speech to pay tribute to Judy Garland, who was nominated for two Oscars in the 1950s and 60s.
The actress said: “Judy Garland did not receive this honor in her time,
“I am certain that this moment is an extension of the celebration of her legacy.”
A live tapeworm parasite was removed from a 26-year-old California man’s brain during emergency surgery.
Luis Ortiz was admitted to a hospital in Napa with what he called the worst headache of his life.
In a brain scan, neurosurgeon Soren Singel discovered the larva of a tapeworm and told Luis Ortiz he had about 30 minutes to live.
The tapeworm grew inside a cyst that cut off circulation and water flow to the rest of his brain.
“I stood up and then I threw up,” said Luis Ortiz.
“The doctor pulled it out and he said it was still wiggling, and I’m like <<Ugh, that doesn’t sound too good>>.”
The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports larval cysts in the brain – neurocysticercosis – develop after a person swallows microscopic eggs passed in the faeces of a person who has an intestinal pork tapeworm.
Once inside the body, those eggs hatch and the worms can make their way to the brain. The CDC says approximately 1,000 people per year are hospitalized for neurocysticercosis and removal of the larvae.
Luis Ortiz is recovering after the surgery in August and is hoping to return to Sacramento State University, where he was scheduled to begin his final year before the surgery.