Martin Scorsese realised his Oscars dream at the 79th Academy Awards in Hollywood last night (25FEB07)when he took home his first Best Director honour.
The revered moviemaker was a clear favourite to claim the prize for gritty drama THE DEPARTED, but even he was taken aback when pals George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola read his name out from the Oscars stage at the Kodak Theatre.
He quipped, "Could you double check the envelope?"
The director added, "So many people over the years have been wishing this for me... I thank you, this is for you."
His movie, The Departed, was the night's big winner, claiming four honours, including Best Film.
After claiming the night's first two awards for Best Art Direction and Best Makeup, fantasy film PAN'S LABYRINTH managed one more win - for Cinematography - to boast three honours.
Otherwise, it was a night for hot favourites with Helen Mirren, Forest Whitaker and JENNIFER HUDSON claiming the acting prizes they were expected to take home. The big surprise came when LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE's Alan Arkin beat Eddie Murphy to the Best Supporting Actor honour.
Highlights of the ceremony included a DREAMGIRLS reunion for Beyonce Knowles, JENNIFER HUDSON and ANIKA NONI ROSE and a tribute to the music of composer Ennio Morricone, which featured a world premiere of Celine Dion's new Morricone tune I KNEW I LOVED YOU.
The full list of winners is:
Best Film - THE DEPARTED
Best Actress - HELEN MIRREN (THE QUEEN)
Best Actor - FOREST WHITAKER (THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND)
Best Director - MARTIN SCORSESE (THE DEPARTED)
Best Art Direction - EUGENIO CABALLERO + PILAR REVUELTA (PAN'S LABYRINTH)
Best Makeup - DAVID MARTI and MONTSE RIBE (PAN'S LABYRINTH)
Best Animated Short Film - THE DANISH POET
Best Live Action Film Short - WEST BANK STORY
Best Sound Editing - ALAN ROBERT MURRAY + BUB ASMAN (FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS)
Best Sound Mixing - WILLIE BURTON, BOB BEEMER + MICHAEL MINKLER (DREAMGIRLS)
Best Supporting Actor - ALAN ARKIN (LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE)
Best Animated Feature - HAPPY FEET
Best Adapted Screenplay - William Monahan (THE DEPARTED)
Best Costume Design - MILENA CANONERO (MARIE ANTOINETTE)
Best Cinematography - GUILLERMO NAVARRO (PAN'S LABYRINTH)
Best Visual Effects - JOHN KNOLL, ALLEN HALL, CHARLES GIBSON + HAL HICKEL (Pirates Of The Caribbean: DEAD MAN'S CHEST)
Best Foreign Language Film - THE LIVES OF OTHERS (Germany)
Best Supporting Actress - JENNIFER HUDSON (DREAMGIRLS)
Best Documentary Short - THE BLOOD OF YINGZHOU DISTRICT
Best Documentary Feature - AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH
Best Original Score - GUSTAVO SANTAOLALLA (BABEL)
Best Original Screenplay - MICHAEL ARNDT (LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE)
Best Original Song - I NEED TO WAKE UP by Melissa Etheridge (AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH)
Best Film Editing - Thelma Schoonmaker (THE DEPARTED)
Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award - Sherry Lansing
Honorary Award - ENNIO MORRICONE