Monday, February 25, 2008

European Union sweeps Oscars acting awards

The Coen brothers completed their journey from the fringes to Hollywood's mainstream, their crime saga No Country for Old Men winning four Academy Awards, including best picture, in a ceremony that also featured a strong international flavor.


Europeans swept the acting categories on Sunday night. British actor Daniel Day Lewis and France's Marion Cotillard were best lead actor and actress. The supporting actor and actress prizes went to Spain's Javier Bardem and British actress Tilda Swinton.

The only other time in the Oscars' 80 year history that all four acting winners were foreign born was in 1964, when the recipients were Britons Rex Harrison, Julie Andrews and Peter Ustinov and Russian Lila Kedrova.

Javier Bardem won for supporting actor in No Country for old men, which earned Joel and Ethan Coen best director, best adapted screenplay and the best picture honour as producers.

Accepting the directing honour alongside his brother, Joel Coen recalled how they were making films since childhood. "What we do now doesn't feel that much different from what we were doing then," Joel Coen said.

Day Lewis won his second best actor Academy Award for There Will Be Blood, while La Vie En Rose star Cotillard was a surprise winner for best actress, riding the spirit of Edith Piaf to Oscar triumph over British screen legend Julie Christie, who had been expected to win for Away From Her.

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