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Cate Blanchett, Best Actress Oscar Winner At 86th Annual Academy Awards

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CATE BLANCHETT OSCARS
Cate Blanchett accepts Best Actress for "Blue Jasmine" during the Oscars on March 2, 2014, in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) | Kevin Winter via Getty Images

Cate Blanchett took home Best Actress at the 86th annual Academy Awards on Sunday. The actress won for her celebrated performance in Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine," playing a Manhattan socialite who loses her wealth when her husband is exposed in a Bernie Madoff-esque corruption scandal.

"Sit down, you're too old to be standing," Blanchett said at the start of her acceptance speech, which followed a standing ovation. Some wondered whether Blanchett would thank Allen amid the brouhaha surrounding his child-abuse allegations, and indeed she did.

Blanchett topped Amy Adams ("American Hustle"), Sandra Bullock ("Gravity"), Judi Dench ("Philomena") and Meryl Streep ("August: Osage County"). This is her second Oscar, following her 2005 Best Supporting Actress win for "The Aviator." She has been nominated an additional four times, for "Elizabeth," "Notes on a Scandal," "I'm Not There" and "Elizabeth: The Golden Age."

Blanchett, 44, was declared the category's frontrunner way back in July, when "Blue Jasmine" first opened. Adams gained some momentum in the wake of the "American Hustle" fervor and her subsequent Golden Globe win in the musical or comedy category, but nearly every major pundit kept Blanchett at the top of his or her predictions in what became one of the most straightforward Best Actress contests in recent years.

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An historic night for Steve McQueen and "12 Years a Slave," wins for Matthew McConaughey, Cate Blanchett, Jared Leto and Lupita Nyong'o, seven Oscars for "Gravity" and no love for "American Hustle." These were your 2014 Oscars. Hope you enjoyed it!

12 years a slave

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As expected, "12 Years a Slave" won Best Picture. Producers Brad Pitt and Steve McQueen accepted the award.

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#truedetectiveseason2 is McCounaughey and his Oscar. He won for his role in "Dallas Buyers Club."

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She also gave an impassioned plea to Hollywood to acknowledge that people want to see movies with female leads. One of the night's most memorable speeches.

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Will Cate Blanchett thank Woody Allen? Let's find out!

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"American Hustle" has lost seven times, thus far, on Oscar night, including in the Original Screenplay category where Spike Jonze's "Her" took top honors.

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Just because it's great and you need to know that.

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Cuaron wins his second Oscar of the night for "Gravity."

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Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez accepted the award with a speech that rhymed.

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Listen here:

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Or, well, Adele Dazeem. Or whatever John Travolta called her when he introduced Menzel.

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Bette Midler sang "Wind Beneath My Wings" after the list of deceased stars was shown. Among those stars left out of the In Memoriam segment were Cory Monteith and James Avery. Sarah Jones, the camera woman who was killed on the set of "Midnight Rider," the Gregg Allman bio film, was also not mentioned.

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Catherine Martin gets another Oscar, giving her two for the night.

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She sings "Over The Rainbow" to pay tribute to "The Wizard Of Oz," which is 75.

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lupitaliza

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That gets director Alfonso Cuaron his first Oscar of the night. Cuaron co-edited the film with Mark Sanger.

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Bill Murray and Amy Adams gave out the award. Before announcing Emmanuel Lubezki as winner, Murray paid tribute to the late Harold Ramis, who died last week.

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Put those think pieces away: Nyong'o topped Jennifer Lawrence for the award and received a standing ovation in the process. "No matter where you're from, your dreams are valid," she said.

lupita nyongo

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That's three Oscars for "Gravity," if you're keeping score at home. It has received the most awards this evening.

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But for those still awake: U2 played "Ordinary Love" from "Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom" and Brad Pitt introduced the band.

More on the U2 performance is here.

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Director Paolo Sorrentino accepts the award and thanks, among others, Martin Scorsese. "The Great Beauty" was Italy's entry at the category.

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And Darlene Love got to sing on the Oscars stage. Here's what Love told HuffPost Entertainment last year about a potential Oscars appearance:

That would be the ultimate. Never say never! Fate has been very good to me. I've been in the right place at the right time for the last 20 years. For one thing, it would give a lot of people the chance to see me. "Wow, that's Darlene Love. She really can sing! And she looks good."

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