Even Rooney Mara's dress didn't turn as many heads on the red carpet as Admiral General Aladeen, "Supreme Leader" of the Republic of Wadiya. The star of forthcoming fictional bio-com The Dictator, Aladeen (aka Sacha Baron Cohen) made headlines before he even arrived. The Academy reportedly threatened to revoke Cohen's invitation if he turned up in character, but backed down when Aladeen delivered a statement on Wadiya state TV threatening "unimaginable consequences", and complaining that his diary was now "as empty as a North Korean grocery store".
Aladeen arrived at the ceremony flanked by pneumatic female bodyguards, and wearing full dress uniform designed, or so he claimed, by John Galliano. "But the socks are from Kmart," he explained. "Saddam Hussein once said to me, 'socks are socks. Don't waste money.'"
The Admiral/General was carrying an urn purportedly containing the ashes of the late Kim Jong-il and, during a red carpet interview with E! host Ryan Seacrest, revealed that Mr Kim, his sometime doubles tennis partner, had dreamed of attending the Oscars. He then tipped the late North Korean dictator all over Seacrest's tuxedo.
As he was led away by large security guards, Aladeen offered a downcast Seacrest some consolation. "Now if somebody asks you what you're wearing," he yelled, "you will say 'Kim Jong-il!'"