This year’s Oscars race was one of the most fiercely contested for decades, as a pack of outstanding films campaigned for the ballots of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science’s 6,000 voting members.

While Mr. McConaughey was always the favourite for best actor, there had been growing talk in recent weeks about an upset win by Leonardo DiCaprio as debauched stockbroker Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street .

The Titanic star's first nomination was 20 years ago, and he has now had five nods without a win. Small consolation: The Great Gatsby , in which he starred, won two Oscars on Sunday, for costume design and production design.

Disney’s blockbuster musical hit Frozen won best animated feature as well as best original song for “Let It Go.”

Italy’s The Great Beauty won best foreign language movie and Twenty Feet from Stardom , about the unsung lives of backing singers, won the best documentary feature prize. — AFP