LIKE an exploding celebrity pinata spewing its guts all over the clean red carpet, the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards wasn't short on sweet treats.
The usually staid ruby pile, well worn by the feet of local C-grade celebrities, was treated to some Oscar-standard stars on Wednesday night. The likes of Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush and Joel Edgerton don't walk so much as hover above the ground.
Kidman was wearing a strapless lemon lace and embroidered Erdem dress that was simple rather than spectacular. ''I go for comfort now,'' she said. She said she had flown to Sydney on the same flight as awards host Russell Crowe.
''He had to take [her daughter Faith] Margaret out of the plane for me because my arms were so tired and I had all the bags and blankies and stuffed toys.'' Kidman planned to dash to Allphones Arena after the awards to catch her husband Keith Urban's Sydney show.
Blanchett wore a red-sequined Armani dress that hugged her curves and wowed the crowd. Veteran actor Jack Thompson said he was looking forward to catching up with his The Sum of Us co-star Crowe.
''We'll tell a few bad jokes, that's what we do,'' he said.
International guests included Gemma Arterton, also wearing Erdem, and Jeremy Renner, in Sydney for the premiere of Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.
Cast members from feel-good hit The Sapphires sparkled, with Jessica Mauboy wearing a Steven Khalil creation.