Day-Lewis wins critics' gong

Julie Christie and Daniel Day-Lewis scooped a best actor and actress awards today at the Critics’ Choice Awards in Santa Monica, California.

Julie Christie and Daniel Day-Lewis scooped a best actor and actress awards today at the Critics’ Choice Awards in Santa Monica, California.

But the film 'No Country For Old Men' was the big winner, gaining best picture, best director for brothers Joel and Ethan Coen and best supporting actor for Javier Bardem.

Bardem accepted for the absent Coens, saying: “I’m the third brother, the Spanish one.”

Awards came in pairs for 'Hairspray', 'Juno', and the Texas oil drama 'There Will Be Blood', which starred Day-Lewis.

The cast of 'Hairspray' was named best acting ensemble and its breakout star, Nikki Blonsky, won best young actress.

The 19-year-old thanked “my mommy who’s sitting here crying and my other mommy who’s at home, John Travolta”. Travolta famously cross-dressed to play Edna Turnblad.

The teen-pregnancy film Juno collected trophies for best comedy and for screenwriter Diablo Cody.

'There Will Be Blood' earned the best actor honour for Day-Lewis and Jonny Greenwood won best composer for his haunting score of the film.

The Writers Guild of America strike, which began on November 5, has effectively shut down Hollywood and cast a pall over Tinseltown’s awards season.

But the Critics’ Choice Awards, presented by the Broadcast Film Critics Association at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium and broadcast live, was not covered by guild contracts.

Christie won best actress for 'Away From Her', but she was not on hand to accept her prize. Also absent was best young actor Ahmad Khan Mahmoodzada, star of 'The Kite Runner', and supporting actress Amy Ryan, who co-starred opposite Casey Affleck in 'Gone Baby Gone'.

Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, who won best song for their work in 'Once', also skipped the ceremony.

The cooking comedy 'Ratatouille' won best animated film, Enchanted won best family film, 'Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee' was best made-for-TV movie and 'Sicko' was best documentary feature.

The critics chose 'The Diving Bell And The Butterfly' as the best foreign language film.

George Clooney, a nominee for his starring turn in Michael Clayton, presented the inaugural Joel Siegel Award to Don Cheadle for his humanitarian work.

Before introducing his friend, Clooney noted the impact of the Hollywood writers’ strike on the city.

“This is a one-industry town and when a strike happens it’s not just writers or actors, it’s restaurants and hotels and agencies,” he said.

“And our hope is that all of the players involved will lock themselves in a room and not come out until they finish.”

Cheadle also acknowledged the strike, saying it kept him from writing an acceptance speech.

'Into the Wild', written and directed by Sean Penn, had a leading seven nominations but did not win any.

The Broadcast Film Critics Association, which represents more than 200 TV, radio and online critics from the United States and Canada, founded the Critics’ Choice Awards in 1995.

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