I suppose it was inevitable that the recently resolved writers’ strike should have taken some of the lustre off the Academy Awards, the industry’s premier night, with major parties cancelled and threats of inclement weather. But there was something very subdued about this year’s ceremony, and it wasn’t just the lack of the usual big comedy numbers. Jon Stewart instead kicked off proceedings by saying: ‘The past three and a half months have been very tough. The town was torn apart by a bitter writers’ strike. But I’m happy to say that the fight is over. So tonight, welcome the make-up sex.’

It was rather difficult to drum up some excitement for the ceremony too, as, for many of the awards, it was clear who the recipients would be, and for most of the remaining categories it seemed to little matter to anyone outside the industry.

As expected, No Country for Old Men was the standout winner, taking home Best Picture, Best Director for the Coen brothers, Best Supporting Actor for Javier Bardem and Best Adapted Screenplay. Daniel Day-Lewis was Best Actor, his second win (his first was for My Left Foot in 1990).

Julie Christie was pipped at the post by an exhuberant Marion Cotillard—get out to the cinema now and see the re-release of her amazing performance in La Vie en Rose, or enter our competition to win a copy of one of last year’s best-regarded films. Tilda Swinton gave the funniest speech of the evening as she picked up her Best Supporting Actress statuette: ‘I have an American agent who is the spitting image of this. Really, truly. The same shape head and, it has to be said, the buttocks.’ She also poked fun at her Michael Clayton co-star George Clooney, saying: ‘Seeing you climb into that rubber Batsuit from Batman and Robin, the one with the nipples, every morning under your costume, on the set, off the set, hanging upside-down at lunch…’

Sadly, Atonement only managed to snag the Best Original Score, but all concerned should take heart from the fact that it’s not always the film that wins that stands the test of time. For example, in 1943 Mrs Miniver took the crown against Citizen Kane and The Maltese Falcon…

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