SHORT film An Irish Goodbye scooped an Oscar in last night’s glitzy Hollywood ceremony – on a night where favourite The Banshees of Inisherin failed to collect a gong.
Set on a rural farm in Northern Ireland, the black comedy, directed and written by Ross White and Tom Berkeley, tells the story of two estranged brothers who come together after their mother's death.
It stars James Martin as Lorcan, alongside Seamus O'Hara who plays his older brother Turlough.
Both stars and both directors were in LA to collect their gong last night, at the 95th Academy Awards held at the Dolby Theater.
During their acceptance speech, co-directors Berkeley and White led the obliging audience in a Happy Birthday singsong, aimed at Martin, who turned 31 on Sunday.
“This award is actually the second-most important thing about today, because it’s this man’s birthday,” said Berkeley, while pointing at Martin.
“He’s out here in Hollywood, wearing a leopard print suit jacket. We’d love to use the rest of our time up here to sing for James,” he added, before they all launched into the song.
Irish success was also found in the Best Visual Effects Awards which went to Richard Baneham for his work on Avatar: The Way of Water.
But there was upset for the cast and crew of The Banshees of Inisherin and writer/director Martin McDonagh, as the much-anticipated feature film failed to win in any of its nine nominated categories.
The history-making Irish language film The Quiet Girl also failed to win in the International Feature Film category, which went to the German language first world war film All Quiet on the Western Front, which took a total of four Oscars on the night.
And Aftersun star Paul Mescal was also unsuccessful in his Actor in a Leading Role category, which went to Brendan Fraser for his portrayal of an obese english teacher who is trying to reconnect with his daughter in The Whale.
Speaking this morning, Irish President Michael D Higgins praised all of the Irish winners and nominees, claiming, it has been a “remarkable year” for the nation’s film industry.
"May I congratulate An Irish Goodbye and Richard Baneham for their fantastic achievements in winning the Best Live-Action Short Film and Best Visual Effects Awards respectively at last night's Oscars ceremony,” he said.
“May I further extend my congratulations to Colin Farrell, Paul Mescal, Kerry Condon, Brendan Gleeson, Barry Keoghan, Jonathan Redmond and all involved with An Cailín Ciúin and The Banshees of Inisherin for the exceptional recognition of their work which being nominated for an Academy Award constitutes.
He added: “This has been a remarkable year for the Irish film industry and is a testament to the hard work of so many people over recent decades.
“The success which we are seeing is built on the acquisition of skills and pursuit of excellence by all in the Irish film community.
“As a gesture to all that has been achieved, and the important contribution of the film and related industries to Irish life, Sabina and myself look forward to hosting a St Patrick's Day reception celebrating the Irish Film, Audio-Visual and Performing Arts Communities at Áras an Uachtaráin this Friday."
But it was the multiverse fantasy Everything Everywhere All At Once which triumphed last night - picking up seven awards including Best Picture and Best Actress for Michelle Yeoh.
That makes Yeoh the first Asian Best Actress winner and only the second woman of colour to win the gong, following in the footsteps of Halle Berry back in 2002.
“For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight this is a beacon of hope and possibility...dreams do come true," she said in her acceptance speech, before adding: "Ladies don’t ever let anyone tell you you are past your prime.”