'No Country for Old Men' bags four Oscars, Shekhar Kapur one


Los Angeles, Feb 25 (IANS) High-octane action drama once again became the top draw at the 80th Annual Academy awards with crime-thriller "No Country for Old Men" winning four Oscars.

Going into the award ceremony with eight nominations, it bagged the coveted award for best director, best picture, best screenplay and best actor in a supporting role.

While Ethan and Joel Coen and Scott Rudin walked away with the Oscar for making the film, the Coen brothers - who write and direct together - won the award for best-adapted screenplay and best direction as well. Javier Bardem won the award for best performance by an actor in a supporting role.

Based on Cormack McCarthy's novel, "No Country for Old Men" is about violence and mayhem that ensue after a hunter stumbles upon some dead bodies, a stash of heroin and more than $2 million in cash near the Rio Grande.

Indian filmmaker Shekhar Kapur's "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" received an Oscar for costume design. The prize for best-animated feature film went to the Disney-Pixar comedy "Ratatouille".

In the other major categories, British actor Daniel Day Lewis bagged the Oscar for the best actor for playing a struggling silver miner in "There Will Be Blood". He beat George Clooney, Johnny Depp, Tommy Lee Jones and Viggo Mortensen in the Oscar race.

Marion Cotillard has won the Academy Award for best actress in a leading role for her performance in "Môme, La". She played legendary French singer Edith Piaf, who rose to international fame from the streets of Paris.

After winning the award, an excited Cotillard thanked director Olivier Dahan, saying: "Maestro Olivier Dahan, you rocked my life. You truly rocked my life."

This was the first Oscar nomination for Cotillard.

Tilda Swinton walked away with the award for best performance by an actress in a supporting role for "Michael Clayton".

Diablo Cody won the coveted award for best screenplay for romantic comedy "Juno", about a 16-year-old girl faced with an unplanned pregnancy and the unusual decision she makes regarding her unborn child.

The award for the best documentary on short subjects went to Cynthia Wade and Vanessa Roth for "Freeheld", a knuckle-biting, dramatic account of a dying policewoman's bitter fight to provide for the love of her life.

The Oscar for the best documentary feature went to Alex Gibney and Eva Orner for making "Taxi to the Dark Side". The movie takes an in-depth look at the way US authorities tortures prisoners in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay. It focuses on an innocent taxi driver in Afghanistan who was tortured and killed in 2002.

Robert Elswit walked away with the Oscar for cinematography for his work in "There Will Be Blood". Dario Marianelli bagged the award for the original music in "Atonement".

Austrian film "The Counterfeiters" ("Fälscher, Die Wins"), based on the true story of the largest counterfeiting operation in history set up by the Nazis in 1936, won the Oscar for the best foreign film.

Directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky, the film beat Israeli nominee "Beaufort", Kazakhstan's "Mongol", Polish entry "Katyn" and Russian movie "12" in the Oscar race.

Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová bagged the award for best achievement in music written for motion pictures for the original song for "Falling Slowly" in director John Carney's "Once".

Despite rain, thousands of fans gathered outside the Kodak theatre to watch their favourite stars for the annual gala. The red carpet outside the theatre was covered with a huge plastic canopy to protect what has in recent years turned into the most-watched show on earth.