Kate Winslet finally saw her dream come true as she picked up the award for Best Actress for The Reader.
It was Kate's sixth nomination, and she gave an emotional acceptance speech to the crowd of Hollywood A-listers, saying she had been practicing for the moment she finally won for years.
She said: “I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t made a version of this before I was eight years old and staring into the bathroom mirror and this Oscar would be a shampoo bottle, only it’s not a shampoo bottle now.
“I feel very fortunate to have made it all the way from there to here.”
But the night belonged to Slumdog Millionaire, and director Danny Boyle was ecstatic at his win.
He jumped up and down with delight as he took took to the stage to accept his award, then explained his energetic celebration.
He said: “My kids are too old to remember this, but I swore that if this miracle ever happened, I would receive it in the spirit of Tigger from Winnie the Pooh, so that’s what that was about.
'There are certain places in the universe you never imagine standing. For me, it's the moon, the South Pole, the Miss World podium and here.'
As predicted, the late Heath Ledger picked up a posthumous Oscar for his role of The Joker in The Dark Knight.
In a tearful Oscars moment, the star's family took to the stage to accept the award on his behalf
His sister dedicated the award to his daughter, Matilda, and his mother told to a visibly emotional crowd: 'We have been truly overwhelmed by the honour and respect being bestowed upon him with this award.'
In other acting honours, Spanish siren Penelope Cruz picked up the Best Supporting Actress award, and joked that she would be the first person to faint whilst giving her speech.
The biggest surprise of the night was Sean Penn scooping the Best Actor prize for his role in Milk.
The Oscar has been widely tipped to go to Mickey Rourke for The Wrestler, but after Sean's name was announced, he seemed as surprised as everyone.
The outspoken actor said: 'You Commie, homo-loving, sons of a gun.
'I did not expect this, and I want to be very clear that I know how hard I make it to appreciate me.'
Away from the awards themselves, the main talking point was Jennifer Aniston sitting just 12 seats away from ex-hubbie Brad Pitt and his partner, the gorgeous Angelina Jolie.
But the threesome avoided any awkward moments by politely clapping each other when their names were mentioned or when Jen took to the stage to present the award for Best Animated Feature Film to the makers of Wall-E.
Brad's luck was not in, as his film, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button walked away without any of the big awards.
Main winners from the Oscars 2009:
Best picture: Slumdog Millionaire
Best director: Danny Boyle - Slumdog Millionaire
Best actor: Sean Penn - Milk
Best actress: Kate Winslet - The Reader
Best supporting actor: Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight
Best supporting actress: Penelope Cruz - Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Best original screenplay: Milk
Best adapted screenplay: Slumdog Millionaire
Best animated feature film: Wall-E