Oscar balancing act among memorable ceremony moments

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French daredevil Philippe Petit came up with a novel way to help accept the best documentary prize, granted for Man On Wire, a recounting of his 1974 tightrope walk between the Twin Towers
Photo: © Getty Images 

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Other eye-catching visual moments included best actress winner Kate Winslet in the midst of past winners including Sophia Loren, Nicole Kidman and Halle Berry
Photo: © Getty Images 

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Best director recipient Danny Boyle celebrates his win with Slumdog Millionaire actress Rubiana Ali, who was flown over from Mumbai for the LA celebrations
Photo: © PA 

On a night filled with striking images, there were some especially memorable moments at the biggest event in the movie calendar. Among them were Danny Boyle celebrating his best actor win with pint-sized Indian actress Rubiana Ali and the Man On Wire star's unusual take on an acceptance speech.

Philippe Petit, the French subject of the best documentary, delighted the audience by balancing the statuette on his chin as British filmmaker James Marsh looked on. They took home the gold for their joint project which tells the tale of Philippe's 1974 tightrope walk between New York's Twin Towers.

Emotion was high as Kate Winslet received a warm hug from Sophia Loren after picking up the best actress gong for The Reader. And crowding round, waiting to offer their congratulations were a host of past recipients, including Nicole Kidman, Halle Berry and Marion Cotillard. And it was a similar scene in the winners room as Hollywood legends Anthony Hopkins, Robert De Niro and Ben Kingsley joined this year's winner Sean Penn for a group photo.

In a poignant red carpet moment Mickey Rourke pointed to the necklace he was wearing, which bore a picture of his beloved Chihuahua-cross Loki, who passed away last week. "I said to myself I'd rather have Loki for another two years than an Oscar and I told her that," said the star, who lost out to Sean in the best actor category. "But she stayed as long as she could, you know."

Once the gala was over there was the chance to chat over dinner, which provided its own visual highlights. There was the sight of loved-up couple Jennifer Aniston and her musician beau John Mayer cuddling up at one post-ceremony party, while father-and-son team Kirk and Michael Douglas, clearly enjoying the chance to spend a night out together, shared a joke on the way inside the venue.

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Inside the Oscars ceremony

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