As the first award of the evening the Academy showed us what we could expect for the rest of the ceremony with their new format. Five past winners of the Best Supporting Actress Oscar, whom included Eva Marie Saint, Whoopi Goldberg, Goldie Hawn, Angelica Huston, and Tilda Swinton presented this year’s five nominees with a monologue describing the significance of their nomination and their role.

And the Oscar went to…

Penelope Cruz for her role as Maria Elena in Vicki, Cristina, Barcelona. The first time winner spoke about how where she came from acting was not a very realistic dream, but she still faithfully watched the Oscars every year.

“I always felt that this ceremony was a moment of unity for the world, because art in any form is, has been, and will always be our universal language. And we should do everything we can to protect it’s survival. So, I thank you so much.”

The most anticipated award of the night was for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar and it was presented by past winners Joel Grey, Christopher Walken, Kevin Kline, Alan Arkin, and Cuba Gooding, Jr.

And the Oscar went to…

The late Heath Ledger for his role as the Joker in The Dark Knight. Ledger’s award was accepted by three members of his family, and they each gave tribute to the late actor.

Heath, we both knew what you created in the Joker was extraordinarily special and had even talked about being here on this very day. We really wish you were, but we proudly accept this award on behalf of your beautiful Matilda. Thank you.

Ledger is only the second actor behind Peter Finch to win a posthumous Academy Award.