A few minor surprises apart, Oscar did everything that was expected.
Jon Stewart did a decent, if not stellar, job of hosting, with only a couple of gags missing the mark. He kept it ticking along but I'd be surprised if he is asked back. Billy Crystal may be wooed again, but Ben Stiller might just be the man as his recent presenting efforts have at least tried to be funny.
Everyone looked great - I got the feeling that my pleas for old-fashioned glamour and style had been answered. The speeches weren't too bad either, but this is all secondary to the awards themselves.
Best picture - there had been a big swing towards Paul Haggis' film as the days counted down. Sometimes, the early awards give an indication and I thought Matt Dillon might take home the Oscar, but if Clooney won, Crash was in with a shout of the big one.
I personally think Brokeback is a better film and story, but sometimes the esteemed Academy tend to go for the more (though not much more) conservative choice. You can tell that they appreciated its quality with Lee's award for direction and the adapted screenplay award, though I don't think it was wholly unfair as Crash also fully deserved recognition. I also loved Jack Nicholson's face when he announced it!
All the acting awards had been pretty much glued on for some time now and there's no doubt that each one of them deserved their statuettes.
Most other categories pretty much went as expected, though I was surprised that Memoirs of a Geisha won best cinematography. Though it is stunning to look at, I thought that Brokeback or potentially The New World were spot on for the Academy's nod. Nice to see the Brits coming out well, both in the awards and on the red carpet.
Next year will be interesting. Will we see a brave new wave of film-makers and writers get the chance to ride the crest of this wave, or will the blockbusters be back?
A good night after a great year - more of the same please!
Yours, nearly asleep...