February 3, 2008 / 6:15 AM / 10 years ago

"No Country" takes Hollywood producers' top prize

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Joel and Ethan Coen’s “No Country for Old Men,” a tale of moral decline wrapped in a gritty crime drama, won the top film prize from Hollywood’s producers on Saturday, making it the clear front-runner in the race to the Oscars.

Directors Joel Coen and Ethan Coen with star Josh Brolin (L-R) from "No Country for Old Men" attend the 14th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles January 27, 2008. "No Country for Old Men" won the top film prize from Hollywood's producers on Saturday, making it the clear front-runner in the race to the Oscars. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

One week ago, the Coen Brothers were also named the year’s best directors by the Directors Guild of America for their adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s novel about a drug deal gone wrong along the U.S.-Mexican border in Texas.

Last Sunday, the cast of “No Country,” including Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin and Javier Bardem, was cited for best ensemble performance by the Screen Actors Guild.

Honoring the film’s makers — Scott Rudin and Joel and Ethan Coen — with the Producers Guild of America’s (PGA) award for producer of the year solidifies the movie’s top position in the race for best motion picture at the February 24 Oscars, the world’s top movie honors.

Many of the members of Hollywood’s guilds also belong to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, whose roughly 6,000 members vote for the Oscars.

The PGA named Brad Lewis as the best animated movie producer for “Ratatouille,” the Disney/Pixar tale of a rat who becomes the chef in a French kitchen.

Michael Moore and Meghan O’Hara were singled out as the top producers for a documentary with “SiCKO,” a scathing look at the U.S. healthcare system.

Among television honors, the producers gave their top prize for best drama to the makers of HBO mob show “The Sopranos.” The award for best comedy production went to NBC’s “30 Rock.”

Reporting by Bob Tourtellotte; editing by Todd Eastham

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