Sometimes it's obvious who's going to come away from the Oscars a winner with months to go before the ceremony (see: Titanic, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Schindler's List).
Sometimes it comes down to two leading movies, as with 2015's horse race between Richard Linklater's Boyhood and Alejandro González Iñárritu's Birdman, which eventually pulled ahead.
But the 2016 Oscars have been one of the most confusing roller coaster awards season rides in recent memory. Films that were supposed to be favorites — Steve Jobs, Carol — faded. Ridley Scott, who many thought might win his first(!) Oscar for directing The Martian, wasn't even nominated. Mad Max: Fury Road cleaned up in technical nominations — and won most of them! — but also landed a Best Picture and Best Directing nomination for George Miller, which both seemed unlikely from the start.
Meanwhile, late releases like The Revenant and The Big Short surged, with The Revenant in particular picking up telling awards. Star Leonardo DiCaprio won his first Oscar, while Iñárritu's Directors Guild victory made his rare back-to-back Best Director win more likely. (Back-to-back director wins have only happened twice before in the history of the Oscars.)
But Spotlight, Tom McCarthy's lower-key film about Boston Globe journalists investigating sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, still ended up winning Best Picture.
It's been an exciting awards season, if a frustrating one, due to a second straight year of all-white acting nominees. But hey, at least it's over.
Here are all the winners for the 88th annual Academy Awards.
Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Actress in a Leading Role
Brie Larson, Room
Actor in a Leading Role
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Spotlight, Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy
The Big Short, Charles Randolph and Adam McKay
Actress in a Supporting Role
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road, Jenny Beavan
Achievement in Production Design
Mad Max: Fury Road, Production Design: Colin Gibson, Set Decoration: Lisa Thompson
Makeup and Hair Design
Mad Max: Fury Road, Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega, and Damian Martin
The Revenant, Emmanuel Lubezki
Mad Max: Fury Road, Margaret Sixel
Mad Max: Fury Road, Mark Mangini and David White
Mad Max: Fury Road, Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff, and Ben Osmo
Ex Machina, Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington, and Sara Bennett
Animated Short Film
Bear Story, Gabriel Osorio and Pato Escala
Animated Feature Film
Inside Out, Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera
Actor in a Supporting Role
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
Amy, Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees
Live Action Short Film
Stutterer, Benjamin Cleary and Serena Armitage
Foreign Language Film
Son of Saul (Hungary)
The Hateful Eight, Ennio Morricone
"Writing's on the Wall" (Spectre), Sam Smith and Jimmy Napes