Hollywood reduced to supporting role at Oscars

Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:09pm EST
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By Bob Tourtellotte and Mike Collett-White

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Four European actors and the maverick Coen brothers shared top honors at the Oscars, relegating the traditional Hollywood of big stars and box office hits to a supporting role this year.

Violent drama "No Country For Old Men" was the big winner on Sunday night with four Academy Awards, more than any other film, including best movie, director and adapted screenplay for brothers Joel and Ethan Coen.

The film's fourth award, for best supporting actor, went to Spain's Javier Bardem for playing a creepy killer of few words. It was the first Oscar for a Spanish performer in the 80-year history of the world's premier cinema awards.

As expected, Briton Daniel Day-Lewis won best actor in "There Will Be Blood," in which he stars as a ruthless oil prospector in early 20th century America.

But there were surprises in the actress categories.

Scotland's Tilda Swinton was named best supporting actress in "Michael Clayton" ahead of pre-award favorite Cate Blanchett, while French star Marion Cotillard beat Julie Christie as best actress with her acclaimed performance as troubled chanteuse Edith Piaf in "La Vie En Rose."

Cotillard was the first French woman to win the award since Simone Signoret in 1960.

"Hollywood is built on Europeans," said Swinton. "Go back and look. I'm just really sad I couldn't give my speech in Gaelic. Don't tell everybody. We're everywhere."   Continued...

<p>Javier Bardem celebrates with his mother as he receives the Oscar for best supporting actor role for "No Country for Old Men" during the 80th annual Academy Awards, the Oscars, in Hollywood, February 24, 2008. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn</p>