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Laura Dern trumps Margot Robbie for Oscar

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Laura Dern posing in the press room at the 92nd Annual Academy Awards held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on Feb. 9, 2020. (Photo by Anthony Behar/Sipa USA)

Margot Robbie has missed out on the Oscar.

The Australian was nominated in the best supporting actress category for Bombshell, but the trophy went to Laura Dern for Marriage Story.

Dern was the red-hot favourite for what is her first Oscar win after coming up empty-handed in 2015 for Wild and 1992 for Rambling Rose.

The ceremony's early awards were spread across films vying for best picture.

New Zealand's Taika Waititi took the adapted screenplay Oscar for Jojo Rabbit, beating fellow Kiwi Anthony McCarten (The Two Popes), Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Todd Phillips and Scott Silver (Joker) and Steven Zaillian (The Irishman).

Hollywood veteran Brad Pitt won best supporting actor for his performance as a charming stunt man in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, director Quentin Tarantino's love letter to 1960s Tinseltown.

It was the first acting Oscar for Pitt, 56, after three decades in the movie industry.

He previously won an Academy Award as a producer in 2014 for best picture 12 Years a Slave.

In his acceptance speech Pitt called out the Trump impeachment trial for blocking the testimony of former national security adviser John Bolton.

"They told me I only have 45 seconds up here, which is 45 seconds more than the Senate gave John Bolton this week," he said on stage.

Toy Story 4 won best animated feature and Bong Joon Ho collected original screenplay for Parasite.

The 92nd Academy Awards are underway at Hollywood's Dolby Theatre.

© AAP 2020