"No Country" tops favorites at film critics awards

Tue Jan 8, 2008 12:28am EST
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By Dean Goodman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "No Country for Old Men," a gritty thriller about a killer who cuts a path of destruction across Texas, was named best film at the Critics Choice Awards on Monday, leaving contenders such as "Into the Wild" and "Juno" by the wayside.

"No Country" also took home the directing prize for brothers Joel and Ethan Coen, while Spanish actor Javier Bardem was honored for his supporting role as a cold-blooded hitman with a novel means of dispatching his victims.

Britain's Daniel Day-Lewis was named best actor for his role as a tough oilman in "There Will Be Blood," and compatriot Julie Christie won best actress for playing an Alzheimer's victim in "Away With Her." Amy Ryan was honored for her supporting role as the deadbeat mother of a missing child in "Gone Baby Gone."

The Critics Choice Awards have an enviable track record as an Oscar predictor. In the past 12 years, half of the acting and best picture winners have gone on to claim Oscar glory, along with 75 percent of the directing winners.

But Bardem, an Oscar nominee in 2001 for his lead role in "Before Night Falls," was philosophical about his chances this time around.

"I don't think about Academy Awards, or anything. I'm from Spain," he told reporters backstage at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.

The event, televised on cable channel VH1, is organized by the Broadcast Film Critics Association, a group of more than 200 television, radio and online critics in the United States and Canada.

'WILD' OUT IN THE COLD   Continued...

<p>Actor Javier Bardem, star of the film "No Country for Old Men", arrives at the 13th Annual Critics' Choice Awards in Santa Monica, California January 7, 2008. REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>