24 FEBRUARY 2009

Matthew McConaughey and several fellow celebs missed the Oscars because they were at an even more spectacular extravaganza - the Rio de Janeiro carival. The actor and his beautiful Brazilian partner Camila Alves had a front row seat at the exuberant procession, reputed to be one of the best parties on Earth.

Clearly impressed by the main parade in which the country's top samba dancers compete against each other, the Hollywood star snapped away on his camera to capture the whirl of feathered costumes and colourful floats.

Model Gisele Bundchen, footballer Ronaldo - both of whom are locals - and actor Kevin Spacey were also among the wave of revellers swaying to the rhythms as the city celebrated into the small hours.

They joined 80,000 spectators packed into the purpose-built Sambodromo stadium to see 12 samba schools battle it out on Sunday and Monday to be crowned champions of the annual carnival.

Photo: Rex
Kevin Spacey catches up with the Hollywood actor and Camila as they all enjoy the heady atmosphere at one of the world's biggest parties
Photo: PA
Matthew joined celebrities and locals residents at the Sambodromo stadium as the city exploded into a riot of colour