Well the most overblown, self-aggrandizing and, ultimately, meaningless, award ceremony is over for another year, and I have to say I really enjoyed this one! There was a bunch of really great nominees to choose from, even if the Academy didn't always pick the best ones.
Best film: Should have probably been Babel. The Departed (the actual winner) was not really "Best Picture" quality. Considering that the original film, Infernal Affairs, which it is so closely followed, didn't even get a Best Foreign Film nomination, just shows that this award was probably more for Martin Scorsese than Graham King (the producer who won it).
Directing: Martin Scorsese for The Departed, as predicted by everyone, took this award even though it was for a film that wasn't even his best work. Alejandro González Iñárritu did a better job with Babel, and although I haven't seen it, apparently Paul Greengrass was the one who should have won this award for United 93. Of course, this award was really an acknowledgement of the brilliant films Scorsese has made throughout his career, and that's something Greengrass couldn't really compete with.
Best male lead: Forest Whitaker took this one with no surprises. Peter O'Toole could have been awarded it for the 8 previous nominations he had, but sometimes it just goes to the best of that year. Who knows, if something had been made of O'Toole's other work, leading up to the Oscars, he could have possibly got this the same way Scorsese did.
Best female lead: Helen Mirren took this one, again, no surprises. I haven't seen her performance, but I doubt it could have been better than Judi Dench in Notes on a Scandal.
Best supporting male: Thank god that Marky bloody Mark didn't win this one. His performance wasn't even the best in The Departed, never mind the rest of the films this year. Alan Arkin took this award, which no-one seemed sure which way was going to go. I don't see why Jack Nicholson got overlooked, though, his performance in The Departed was masterful.
Best supporting female: Adriana Barraza should have got this one, easily. If it wasn't her, then it should have been Rinko Kikuchi. Instead, Jennifer Hudson got this one, although to be fair, I missed Dreamgirls. She better have been damned good to beat Barraza!
Original screenplay: Little Miss Sunshine got this one, congrats to those guys. There was no obvious winner in this category.
Screenplay from other: The Departed, got this, god knows why, especially when you consider how close it was to the completely non-Academy recognised original. Notes on a Scandal was excellent, and probably deserved to win. Haven't seen the other nominations, though.
Cinematography: Pan's Labyrinth's Guillermo Navarro took this one home, although Children of Men's Emmanuel Lubezki seem to do a stunning job.
Editing: The Departed's Thelma Schoonmaker took this one, her third Oscar. I thought that Babel's Douglas Crise and Stephen Mirrione possibly deserved it, but there's no doubting Schoonmaker's talent.
Best Foreign Film: The very popular Pan's Labyrinth surprisingly didn't get this one, instead it went to The Lives of Others, which thoroughly deserved it (definitely the best film of the year).
So in all it was Scorsese's year. Highlights included; Ellen DeGeneres, Ennio Morricone, Jerry Seinfeld (did a great bit that showed he was a little more comfortable on that big stage than DeGeneres, perhaps a contender as next year's host?), Jack Black, John C. Reilly and Will Ferrell's song, Helen Mirren's acceptance speech, but the best moment was worth waiting for: Coppolla, Speilberg and Lucas getting together to award their contemporary, Scorsese, with his Oscar.
I've probably forgotten some of the best bits, but like I said, it was a good year for Oscar overall!