In the first acting award of the night, Alan Arkin nabbed an Oscar for his role as the cranky drug-addicted grandpa in Little Miss Sunshine. An announcer revealed Arkin was almost rejected for the role because he was "too virile" – and he came off as a stoic tough guy through most of his acceptance speech, until he choked up upon thanking his wife and three sons for "their endless support." Awww ...
See the list of major winners.
Marc Anthony, mimicking Jada Pinkett Smith's teetering high-heeled walk with a pained look on his face. Catching him in the act, she laughs and dismisses him with a wave of her hand.
Gwyneth Paltrow, letting out a relieved sigh after making her way through a throng of journalists clamoring for her attention. But then – much to her chagrin – she looks up and sees another row of photographers waiting for her.
You stuck with 'em during the the Golden Globes, the SAG Awards and the Grammys. And tonight, E!'s intrepid reporters – Ryan Seacrest, Giuliana DePandi, Jay Manuel and Debbie Matenopoulos rounded out red carpet season with yet another string of oh-my-God-did-they-just-say-that comments. Not to be outdone, Joan Rivers delivered her signature backhanded compliments. Here are some of the best of the worst.
No, not that kind of wardrobe malfunction. But these ladies – and their outfits – barely made it out of the red carpet alive! Below, the injured parties on the red carpet:
Maggie Gyllenhaal's dress looked great on the red carpet – literally. Her feather-trimmed Proenza Schouler dress shedded wherever she walked.
Only halfway down the red carpet, and Eddie Murphy's girlfriend Tracey Edmonds's long gown already had a hole in it.
Did a fashion publicist just out Naomi Watts as a mom-to-be? Although the New York Post's Page Six reported on Wednesday that the actress is expecting a baby with boyfriend Liev Schreiber, her rep has officially kept mum.
Then on Sunday night a rep for Escada, which designed Watts's Oscar gown, sent out a press release reading in part, "The ESCADA gown set off her most precious new asset – the baby she is expecting with longtime boyfriend Liev Schreiber." What a way to spill the beans on a bump.
Click here to see more photos and news on Naomi Watts.
Cowell famously shredded Jennifer Hudson's prospects of a career on American Idol. But tonight, he taped a very special message for the Best Supporting Actress nominee, which E!'s Ryan Seacrest played for a surprised Hudson on the red carpet. "I have a feeling you are going to win tonight. What you have done is literally extraordinary. None of us would have called it – apart from me," Cowell said. "I think you're going to win, and guess what? You deserve it. Love you. Lots of love."
Cowell stopped short of apologizing and groveling, but Hudson was definitely pleased by his statement. Though she didn't seem all that convinced: "Is he alright?"
SEE PHOTOS FROM THE RED CARPET
Best Dressed at the Oscars
They're Here! Best of Arrivals
Oscar Hair & Makeup Favorites
Oscar Night's Mega-Jewels
Leo and Bar hit the town! Seacrest gets accosted! Plus more from the pre-Oscar party scene
Leonardo DiCaprio walking into Les Deux hand-in-hand with girlfriend Bar Rafaeli. The two sat on top of their banquette (next to Lauren Conrad's booth) and sipped vodka and cranberry juice cocktails until Kevin Connolly came over to chat them up.
Natalie Portman and Gael Garcia Bernal – looking very much the couple – over dinner at Nishimura in West Hollywood. "She looked happy, like a school girl, when she looked at him," said an onlooker.
Victoria Beckham sipping champagne and giggling with friends at Soho House. At one point Beckham – clad in an all-black outit – showed off pictures of her son Cruz on her Blackberry, exclaiming, "The boys are so cute!"
Michelle Trachtenberg warmly greeting Grey's Anatomy star Eric Dane with a big hug at the Soho House. She then chatted with Dane and wife Rebecca Gayheart....
It's the greatest all-star cast to be assembled this year: multi-generational, multi-ethnic, and multi-lingual ... the 79th Annual Academy Awards.
One chief concern: That the Southern California weather will hold up (it might be more of a cloudy rather than a Little Miss Sunshine kind of day).
Get a sneak peek at the show (and check back tonight for live coverage of what you couldn't see on TV!).
Are you dying to walk the red carpet, or sit next to George Clooney? Sadly, the mother of all award shows is an invite-only private event. Still, there are ways for the average fan to get kinda close to those little gold statues, aside from actually being nominated. Here's how to get thisclose to the big show:
Be a Seat Filler
The Kodak employs close to 250 men and woman who stand at the ready to ... sit. When an invited guest needs to stretch their legs, it's the seat filler's job to swoop in and maintain the seamless sea of smiling faces. Most award shows use the aptly named Seatfiller.com to fill those chairs, but the Academy generally reserves these plum roles for their own staff and families.
Work As an Usher
The Kodak Theatre will have 40 ushers working the Oscars. ...