Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand stroll up to the spotlight to give away the award for Best Film. Will the Academy, as is expected, give it to The Aviator to compensate for its loss at the really big awards? No! Million Dollar Baby is best picture at the Oscars! Clint Eastwood's boxing drama wins again! The film has swept the big awards tonight!
Julia Roberts presents the award for Best Director. This year has seen a big fight between Martin Scorsese and Clint Eastwood. Will the evening's penultimate category throw up a surprise? No, it doesn't. Clint Eastwood wins for Million Dollar Baby! Incidentally, the 74-year-old actor and filmmaker came to the ceremony with his 96-year-old mother!
Charlize Theron takes the stage to give away the award for Best Actor. This is a hotly contested category, but a clear winner seems to have been picked from the very beginning - Jamie Foxx for Ray. Sure enough, the evening continues to be twist-less, and Foxx picks up the richly deserved Oscar.
Samuel L Jackson gives away the award for Best Original Screenplay to Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry, and Pierre Bismuth for Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind.
Gwyneth Paltrow introduces the nominees for Best Foreign Language Film. Alejandro Amenabar's Mar Adentro (The Sea Inside) from Spain, sweeps up the trophy.
Sean Penn gives one of the evening's most awaited awards, for Best Actress. Without any surprise whatsoever, the Oscar goes to Hilary Swank, for Million Dollar Baby. This year's ceremony is turning into the most predictable in a long time.
Prince, the highest earning musician of 2004, announces the winner of Best Original Song - Jorge Drexler's The Other Side Of The River (Al Otro Lado Del Rio), from The Motorcycle Diaries. Jorge simply sings a few bars in Spanish from the winning song, smiles, and says 'Ciao!'
Sean Combs, the man who changed his name from Puff Daddy to P Diddy, introduces the fifth and final nominated song for the evening, Believe, from The Polar Express. The song is performed by Beyonce and Josh Grobin.
Annette Bening introduces renowned cello player Yo-Yo Ma. He pays poignant tribute to those film personalities that last year has lost, to that great Academy in the sky, God bless their souls.
Martin Scorsese gives away the Academy's Humanitarian Award, the Gene Herscholt Award, to Roger Mayer.
John Travolta strides down stage to the Pulp Fiction theme. Appropriate, seeing he's announcing the award for Best Musical Score. The award goes to Jan A P Kazcmarek for Finding Neverland.
Natalie Portman introduces the nominees for Best Documentary - Short Subject. The Oscar goes to Robert Hudson, Bobby Houston, for Mighty Times: The Children's March.
Cruz introduces the next nominated song, The other side of the river, from The Motorcycle Diaries. The first song in Spanish ever to be nominated for an Academy Award is performed by Antonio Banderas and Carlos Santana!
Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek are the next presenters for the evening. The award for Best Sound Mixing goes to Ray, while that for Sound Editing goes to The Incredibles!
Kate Winslet takes centrestage and pays a tribute to cinematographers. The Best Cinematography Award goes to Robert Richardson, for The Aviator. That's Oscar number 5 for the Howard Hughes biopic!
Laura Linney gives away the award for Best Short Animated Film to Ryan, by Chris Landreth.
Jeremy Irons presents the award for Best Live Action Short Film, and it goes to director Andrea Arnold for Wasp. Indian hopeful Ashvin Kumar loses out despite his great short, Little Terrorist.
Emmy Rossum introduces the third nominated song of the evening, Learn to be lonely, sung again by Beyonce, accompanied by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber on the piano.
Al Pacino takes the spotlight while he presents the honourary Lifetime Achievement award to legendary director Sidney Lumet - the man who made brilliant films like 12 Angry Men, The Fugitive Kind, Serpico and Dog Day Afternoon.
Jake Gyllenhaal, newly shorn, takes the stage with Zhang Ziyi, announcing the awards for Best Visual Effects. The award in the biggest budget category of them all goes to Spider-Man 2!
Adam Sandler steps out to announce the award for Best Adapted Screenplay - and the prize goes to Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor for Sideways.
Mike Myers introduces the Counting Crows, performing their nominated song from Shrek 2, Accidentally in love.
Kirsten Dunst and Orlando Bloom give the Best Editing award to Thelma Schoonmaker for her work on The Aviator. That's four golds for the Scorsese picture!
Leonardo DiCaprio, nominee for Best Actor, gives the Best Documentary award to Born Into Brothels, the documentary set in Kolkata.
The next montage showcased much missed Johnny Carson, the legendary television presenter who passed away on January 23, with clips from Oscar shows he'd hosted.
Tim Robbins presents the much-contested award for Best Supporting Actress, and the winner is Cate Blanchett, for playing screen diva Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator! That's the third Aviator Oscar already this evening.
Pierce Brosnan, ironically with the James Bond theme still playing in the background, arrives to announce the award for Best Costume Design. But he's soon upstaged by the animated Edna Mode, superhero outfitter from The Incredibles! The Oscar went to Sandy Powell for The Aviator, and her fabulous work on recreating the Hollywood of the Forties and Fifties.
Scarlett Johannson takes her place on one of the balconies, and she introduces the year's Scientific and Technical award winners - whom she felicitated in an earlier ceremony.
Drew Barrymore announces the first musical nomination for Les Choristes (The Chorus), and the French song is performed by Beyonce Knowles.
The Best Makeup award went to the team of Lemony Snickets' A Series Of Unfortunate Events, announced by Cate Blanchett, giving the trophy from the audience.
Robin Williams walks out in a startling pink shirt and black tux, and he's handing out the award for Best Animated Feature. The Oscar goes to Brad Bird's Disney/Pixar film, The Incredibles.
Renee Zellweger is the next presenter for the evening, and she's giving away the statuette for Best Supporting Actor. And the award not-so-suprisingly goes to Morgan Freeman, for Million Dollar Baby. Calling the film "a labour of love", Freeman thanks the Academy and walks away with his first ever Oscar.
Making the nightmarish announcement that the evening's first presenter will actually star in Catwoman 2, Rock makes way for Halle Berry. She announces the nominees for Best Art Direction, and the evening's first Oscar goes to Dante Ferreti, for The Aviator.
Tonight's host Chris Rock takes centrestage, revelling in the fact that there are four black Oscar nominees tonight! Taking a dig at the Oscars themselves, he says that it's the only place you don't see any acting!
Tom Hanks' choked-up and emotional 'the streets of heaven are crowded with angels' acceptance speech for Philadephia, in 1994, has been judged the viewers' pick for most memorable Oscar acceptance speech of all time. Halle Berry's hysterical tears and Roberto Benigni's mad rush of emotion were in second and third place.
Hollywood's most glamorous night is just about to kick off, with the annual festivities of launching a few lucky (and well-lobbied) careers into international superstardom.