That’s right. They’re here. The 2017 Oscars have rolled around (was all that Neil Patrick Harris magic box nonsense really two years ago?) and we’re as excited as everyone who replied to Viola Davis' Oscar polishing job advert.
Stick with Empire as we guide you along the red carpet, laugh and cry with the winners and losers (though that may just be the post-midnight delirium setting in), and attempt to pinch one or two things from the goodie bags.
Will Washington or Affleck take home the Best Actor prize? Will Empire favourite Lin-Manuel Miranda make history by achieving an EGOT and PEGOT? And will it be La La Land or Jackie that triumphs in the category that has us incredibly undecided: Best Costume.
We'll see you at the after party.
Now is as good a time as any to bid you all goodnight! Can't say we've ever seen an Oscar moment quite like that, but that's the beauty of live television, isn't it!
So, congratulations, Moonlight!
And, with six wins, we'd be pretty happy with our haul if we were on Team La La Land tonight, too.
See you next year!
It's a big shame that Moonlight didn't get to win that final award 'properly', with the elation and overwhelming emotion a Best Picture win should come with. We're sure the shock was twice as powerful when they realised what was happening, but man alive, what we would give to have been in that room tonight.
You may have noticed we haven't written anything for half an hour. Empire's Oscar mission room went into full meltdown. It turns out that Moonlight and not La La Land won Best Picture but there was a mix-up with the envelopes. The mistake was corrected but not until the La La Land team were in the middle of their acceptance speeches! Not awkward at all.
We watched that back three times and it gets more heartbreaking each time. It seems an envelope meant for Emma Stone somehow got recycled back on stage (they have two sets of cards, people), seeing as it was her name on the card, as Beatty said, as opposed to the names of the winning producers. (A quick look on Twitter will clearly show you a 'Best Actress in a Leading Role' envelope in Beatty's hands.)
But bless you, Warren. We wish you'd just nipped side stage for a second to check if that really was the case. Your instincts were right, Warren. They were right!
So, it's just gone 5am, and it's time to present the final award of the night: Best Picture. Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway are here to announce what can surely only be La La Land at this point in the night. (Is it possible to watch clips of Lion without tearing up? Answers on a postcard.)
And yes, La La Land reigns triumphant, with seven wins from its 273 nominations. And about 273 members of the film's team bounce on up on to the stage.
Leo's back where he belongs. He's here to hand out the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role.
And, as we all thought it might just be, it's Emma Stone for La La Land. We think she's slightly happy and shocked with this outcome...!! "I realise a moment like this is a huge confluence of luck and opportunity. So I want to thank Damien Chazelle for an opportunity that was a once in a lifetime. And Ryan Gosling, thank you for making me laugh and always raising the bar and being the greatest partner in this crazy adventure."
Brie Larson is here to announce whether Denzel Washington or Casey Affleck will be winning Best Actor in one of the closest races we can recall.
And it's Casey.
"One of the first people who taught me how to act was Denzel Washington, and I just met him for the first time tonight. I'm just dumfounded that I'm included."
Hello, Halle Berry. We're hoping you're here to tell us who has won Best Director. You are? Wonderful. And, as expected, it's Damien Chazelle's! He is the youngest ever recipient of the award. The clever so-and-so. "I was absolutely honoured and floored to be [in the company of my fellow nominees] this year. This was a movie about love, and I was lucky enough to fall in love making it." Awwwww.
As the members of the audience get more Hunger Games packages from the sky, the show takes a quick break before the big four are announced...
As for Adapted Screenplay? That's Moonlight's second win of the night! Writer/director Barry Jenkins: "all you people out there who feel like your life is not reflected, we have your back, the Academy has your back, the ACLU has your back."
Manchester By The Sea takes Original Screenplay! Writer and director Kenneth Lonergan: "I love the movies, I love being part of the movies. Thank you Casey Affleck, Casey Affleck, Casey Affleck."
And now it's time for the Screenplay Oscars! Oh, but before that it's another 'Inspiration' section. It's the turn of Jimmy Kimmel and Matt Damon in We Bought A Zoo (which is hella lovely, really). "That's the thing about the man: he's got almost no discernible talent, but he always works." Ben Affleck joins his "plus one" on stage for the Screenplay nominations, but the orchestra are trying to play Matt Damon off. With Kimmel holding the baton, of course.
Jennifer Aniston tenderly introduces the In Memoriam section, which will be accompanied by Sara Bareilles.
Scarlett Johansson has just floated on stage looking like a dream, to present Best Original Song. If she hands Lin-Manuel Miranda his EGOT, things will get very messy in the Empire office. But this is surely City Of Stars'. And, yes, that's Justin Hurwitz's second win on the trot!
Oh hey there, Samuel L. Jackson. It's Best Score time, which will be going to La La Land. And yes, that's the first win for Justin Hurwitz (nominated for three tonight), and La La Land's third of the night.
Baby Goose and, err, Emma Stone are here to not sing their own songs. Part-timers. Instead, we have the wonderful John Legend to sing them both in a pretty little medley. There's dancing lampshades and wire work and it's all really rather lovely.
We've just clicked that there's no big musical 'moment' this year. There's no Gaga, no Common and John Legend from the previous two years. Again, this is a ceremony quite devoid of drama. But that Legend has serious pipes. AND IT'S 4:08 AND WE'RE STILL TOTALLY AWAKE, YESSS.
Oscars Mean Tweets Special! Another of the features from Jimmy's show. Bridges, Stone, DeNiro, Swinton, Gosling, Stone, Miranda – they're cracking them all out tonight! This is actually a rather relaxed, low-key ceremony. And we're pretty alright with that.
Oscar winner Javier Bardem is next up in the 'Waxing Lyrical About My Heroes' series. And it's the turn of Meryl in The Bridges Of Madison County. Which is mighty convenient, considering she's in her usual front row seat. The pair are here to present Achievement In Cinematography. After the night we're having, will Lion create an upset, or will La La Land win as expected? No, it's La La Land's for the taking, making it the film's second win of the night. Doesn't sound like much yet, but there's a lot of categories still to come where it should win big. (And by the way, we went for the Jelly Beans.)
Will it be Denzel or Casey? City Of Stars or How Far I'll Go? More Mini Cheddars or some Haribo Jelly Beans? There's just so many questions to be answered at 3:53 on a Monday morning.
"We're more than two hours into the ceremony and Donald Trump hasn't tweeted at us. I'm getting worried about him." Yep, Jimmy just tweeted ('twote'?!) Trump. This is this year's Ellen selfie, isn't it?
Salma Hayek and David Oyelowo are here for the remaining Short Oscars. Best Documentary Short goes to Netflix's The White Helmets. And we have some very overwhelmed winners! And two British winners, no less! And strong work on managing to get the auditorium up in a standing ovation for those in Syria.
Live Action Short goes to Sing. And that's quite a jaunty tune delivering them to the stage.
Seth Rogen has just made an incredible decision. He and his Fozzy Bear laugh have decided to tell us why Back To The Future is just so darn inspirational. Not that we needed reminding. Michael J. Fox and Rogen now exit the DeLorean (Seth with those Nikes on). AND THEN THEY JUST SANG SOME HAMILTON SO NOW WE'RE GOING TO NEED SOME TIME.
(But yes, they're here to present the Oscar for Best Editing.)
And, in a huge surprise twist, it goes to Hacksaw Ridge! Sorry, we got distracted by that surprise and then the delightful Sunny Pawar being held aloft by Kimmel like a teeny tiny baby Simba. Adorable.
Felicity Jones and Riz Ahmed are here to present Achievement In Visual Effects. Come on, The Jungle Book... And yep, Disney nailed it. (We've just cracked out some more Mini Cheddars. We'd like you to know that we're definitely not sponsored by Mini Cheddars. But we really wouldn't mind it if we were.)
Almost at the halfway point, folks. Stay with us!
So there's been this ongoing joke all night about a bus of people who have been en route to the Oscars without knowing about it. This is all a bit bizarre, but look out for the lady with the selfie stick, because she is gold. Oh no, they're touching Mahershala's Oscar. DON'T LET THEM NEAR IT, MAHERSHALA! So are they just ferrying them out again? WE DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT IS HAPPENING. This might be a good time to run for a bathroom break, boys and girls.
The internet melts as Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson drift (genuinely, they are drifting) on stage to announce the winner of Production Design. And it's the first of the night for La La Land! The fact that the winners are husband and wife just makes this all the sweeter, doesn't it?!
Hailee Steinfeld and Gael García Bernal are here to chat animation! The short goes to Pixar's Piper: "may you always have the courage to face your fears". And as for Best Animated Feature? Never in doubt: it's Zootropolis!
Quick – time to grab a drink while the ceremony's on a quick break...
Lovely Dev Patel! He's here to introduce the next Best Original Song nominee. It's from Jim: The James Foley Story. Take it away, Sting.
Charlize Theron is telling us why she loves The Apartment, and, more specifically, Shirley MacLaine. "You see a woman who is quite obviously going through this crisis – it's raw. She makes this black and white film feel like it's colour." And now the pair walk on stage together to announce Best Foreign Language Film.
The Salesman wins, but, as we know, Farhadi is not here. "It's a great honour to be receiving this valuable award for the second time. I'm sorry I'm not with you tonight. My absence is out of respect for [the members of my country and others] who have been denied entry to the US."
"By the way, Viola Davis just got nominated for an Emmy for that speech at the Oscars." Welcome back, Jimmy.
A standing ovation for Sir Mark of Rylance, please. His way with words is, as we well know, really quite special. So it's only right he hand this award to the definite lock that is Viola Davis – another master of her art.
And yes, this is indeed her night. It couldn't have gone any other way! "You know, there's one place where all the people with the greatest potential are gathered. And that's the graveyard. People ask me all the time, 'what kind of stories do you want to tell, Viola?' And I say, exhume those stories. The people who dreamed big and never saw those dreams come to fruition. I became an artist and thank God I did, because we are the only profession who celebrate what it is to live a life. So here's to August Wilson who exhumed and exalted the ordinary people."
Vince Vaughn is here to chat Honorary Oscars. The recipients this year are Lynn Stalmaster, Anne Coates, Frederick Wiseman and Jackie Chan. And they have a proper box to view the ceremony from. Ok, we get it. We know what we have to do to get there...
Sound Editing goes to Arrival and Mixing to Hacksaw Ridge (well, that's a few less for La La Land's grand tally!).
Jimmy Kimmel's pretty laid back, isn't he? Kind of works, though. Although, he's just heralded a bunch of care packages from the gods and it's all gone a bit Hunger Games. Anyway, here's the impossibly chiselled Chris Evans and Sofia Boutella to announce the Sound winners.
Well that was rather colourful and lovely, wasn't it. Also, Auli'i Cravalho is only sixteen?!
The Rock. In velour. Singing. Briefly. Because this is not about him. This is Lin-Manuel's time. We'll be back in five minutes.
The three Hidden Figures ladies firstly introduce Katherine Johnson (played by Henson in the film). EVERYBODY'S WELLING UP. She is the only surviving member of the NASA workers they play in the film.
Secondly, they're here to award Best Documentary, which goes to O.J.: Made In America. And what a film that is. It's still on BBC iPlayer, UK readers. Get to it.
Anyway. Costume. Let's compose ourselves and hope Jackie wins this one to at least stop La La Land from winning all of the Oscars. Oh wow. Fantastic Beasts! "Sting told me I was going to win tonight and I didn't believe him!" Colleen Atwood has a fantastic track record with the Oscars, but that was a big surprise tonight. Let's hope there's more to come!
We're in so much shock that we couldn't find the tab to re-open the blog. This award was dedicated to all of the immigrants, so we don't feel quite so bad about Suicide Squad's win now. BUT YES, WELL DONE.
The glorious Kate McKinnon and the glorious Jason Bateman are here to hand out two awards: Costume, and Hair and Makeup. Jason Bateman is morphing into Michael J. Fox.
GUYS, GUYS, GUYS, DID YOU KNOW SUICIDE SQUAD WAS UP FOR AN OSCAR?
"My grandma would want me to button up! I had so many teachers, and one thing they consistantly told me was that it isn't about you. It's about these characters. You're a servant to these characters, and I'm so glad to have had this opportunity. Any one of the cast could be up here right now getting this trophy." A baby and an Oscar this week? It's a good time to be Mahershala Ali.
Alicia Vikander (quite clearly overwhelmed to be back on that stage after her win last year) gave just the sweetest little introduction to that nominee reel. And yes, well done to every single person on the planet for getting that Mahershala Ali prediction right.
So. First up. Best Supporting Actor. We all know who's going to win this... Bring it, Mahershala.
Good gravy, we're only 15 minutes in and Meryl's already had a standing ovation!
"Oh good, I got a standing ovation!" No, no, Jimmy, that was obviously for Justin. Whatever that joke was meant to be fell a tad flat... "I'm excited! I've never been to the Oscars before! And the way you people go through hosts, it's probably my last time, too."
"I don't have to tell anybody, this country is divided right now. Let's just get something straight off the top: there's only one Braveheart in this room and he's not going to unite us either."
And yes, the Matt Damon jokes are starting right off the bat. (Look it up if you don't know their history. A big part of Jimmy's show.) "Matt, as you probably know, could have starred as the main part in Manchester By The Sea. But he didn't. He gave it to his childhood friend and made a Chinese ponytail movie instead. Smart move, dumbass."
"I want to say 'thank you' to President Trump. Remember last year when it seemed like the Oscars were racist?"
So yes, there will be political overtones from Kimmel (never in doubt), but it looks like it might not be the source of every single joke.
Justin Timberlake is here to open the ceremony with his Oscar-nominated song from Trolls. (Yep, Trolls was nominated for an Oscar.) This song has so far had a breakdown and a mashup and it's definitely not even halfway through yet. This is all a little bit hip, isn't it. Whatever, Meryl seems to be having a great time. (Though we're not sure Vince Vaughn was quite as impressed... Embrace it, Vince!)
To quote the great Rafiki, it is time.
Denzel alert! Seven minutes to go and he's still waltzing around the red carpet. And why not when you've got a seat pride of place at the front of the auditorium.
"I really feel this is [Viola's] time." It is, Denzel, IT IS!
"It's a great place to be, it's a great place to work, and it's just got the smartest, funniest people living there!" Casey Affleck working as a Boston travel guide, there.
Queen Viola is here. So why did she love playing Rose – on stage and film – in Fences quite so much? "Because she's strong! You think she's going to be in the background and then she surprises you." Go win that Oscar, Viola.
17 minutes to go, people! Go get that final round of drinks (we definitely won't judge you if you've named a cocktail after Meryl) and get ready to settle in for the night.
Ryan Gosling is very happy that Emma Stone has been his leading lady for so long. "We were really lucky that we were asked to improvise in our first film and it's kind of become a tradition." Keep it up, you two.
The Mini Cheddars have been cracked open. It's getting serious, people...
Mahershala Ali is a lock for Best Supporting Actor tonight. "I wish my wife could be here – we just had a baby like four days ago! I'm glad that I was able to be part of projects that have a great social relevance and have also done well." Don't forget that Ali is also in Hidden Figures alongside Janelle Monáe (also in both).
Dev Patel is looking rather dashing in white. And this isn't his first Oscar rodeo. "It was all such a blur back then [with Slumdog]. It's truly an honour and a privilege to be here with [Lion]."
Also, Dev gets to call Jeff Bridges, 'Jeff'. This makes us a little bit jealous.
Next up on #MumWatch is Dev Patel and his mother. This is going to be a theme of the night, isn't it. Genuinely half-expecting Lin-Manuel Miranda's (should we take a shot every time we mention him?) mum to perform with him on stage later on.
Damien Chazelle will be the youngest ever Oscar-winning director when (yes, when) he wins tonight. Makes you a little bit sick, really, doesn't it? Whiplash and La La Land? Come on...
Octavia Spencer is glad to be on "this beautiful world stage!" But how do you feel about going up against the other women in your category, Octavia, HOW DO YOU FEEL? "The nomination is already a win. I have an Oscar at home!" Fair enough.
Isabelle Huppert is up for Best Actress for her role in Elle. "It feels wonderful [to be here]! I discovered Paul Verhoeven's work a long time ago and I always thought he was such an amazing director, so it was a pure joy for me to work with him."
She was last here at the beginning of the '80s, she thinks! Welcome back, Hupps.
Barry 'No Socks' Jenkins (we don't think that nickname is going to stick) is rocking the red carpet. "I think art is art", Jenkins says in relation to Moonlight costing $1.5 million dollars to make in comparison to La La Land's $20 million budget.
The director's sophomore theatrical effort is up for eight Oscars tonight. How many do you think it will win? Let us know via Twitter.
Chris Rock delivered an explosive opening monologue last year. Jimmy Kimmel has one hell of a task on his hands tonight...
Andrew Garfield thinks being at the Oscars is "too big to really comprehend, so I'm not really trying to." Bless him. He's here with mum and dad, if you're asking.
Ruth Negga on her role in Loving: "I knew we were making something very moving, because I studied this couple and they radiated goodness. There was this energy on set of goodness. I knew [the film] would move people."
We have just been made aware of Ruth Negga's dress, and we're not sure we were fully prepared for it... Head this way for our red carpet gallery.
We are here. We are raring to go. And we have more Mini Cheddars than you can shake a stick at. Maybe not the most conventional of Oscar snacks, but we're going to run with it.