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No Country for Old Men wins best picture Oscar
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Joel (L) and Ethan Coen walk on stage to accept their best Picture Oscar during the 80th annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, February 24, 2008. [Agencies]

The best picture Academy Award went to "No Country for Old Men," the biggest winner at Sunday night's Academy Awards show. (Click to see complete list of winners)

The modern-day Western also won Academy Awards for best supporting actor for Javier Bardem, best director and adapted screenplay for the sibling team of Ethan and Joel Coen.

The Coen brothers became instant Oscar favorites last month when they won top honors from the Directors Guild of America (DGA). Only six times since 1949 has the DGA winner not gone on to win the Oscar.

"No Country for Old Men," which went into the night with eight nominations, out-dueled its chief rival "There Will Be Blood," which also had eight nods. Other best-picture nominees were "Juno, " "Michael Clayton" and "Atonement."

"So many people have had a part of this, chief among them is Cormac McCarthy, who wrote the wonderful book that was an honor to make into a movie," said Scott Rudin, producer of "No Country for Old Men."

Accepting the best-director award, Joel Coen said he and his brother have been making movies since they were kids.

"In the late sixties, when Ethan was 11 or 12, we got a suit and briefcase and we went to the Minneapolis International Airport with a Super 8 camera and made a movie about shuttle diplomacy called 'Henry Kissinger: Man on the Go.' Honestly what we do now doesn't feel that much different from what we were doing back then.

"We're really thrilled to have received it (the directing Oscar) and we're very thankful to all of you out there for letting us continue to play in our corner of the sandbox."

The Coen brothers beat out directors Paul Thomas Anderson ("There Will Be Blood"), Tony Gilroy ("Michael Clayton"), Jason Reitman ("Juno") and Julian Schnabel ("The Diving Bell and the Butterfly").

It was the first directing Oscar for the Coens. Joel Coen was nominated for directing the 1996 film "Fargo."

This was the third time two credited directors were nominated for the same film, following Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, who won Oscars for the 1961 musical "West Side Story," and Warren Beatty and Buck Henry, nominees for the 1978 comedy "Heaven Can Wait."

Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored a wide range of movies, actors and actresses from several countries.

Briton Daniel Day-Lewis won the Oscar for best actor as a sadistic oil prospector in the early 20th century whose rise to wealth and power comes at a deep cost to his soul. (More)

France's Marion Cotillard was named best actress, Britain's Tilda Swinton took supporting actress and Spain's Javier Bardem won supporting actor. (More)

Daniel Day-Lewis (L-R), best actor winner for "There Will Be Blood" , Tilda Swinton, best supporting actress for "Michael Clayton", Marion Cotillard, best actress for "La Vie en Rose" and Javier Bardem best supporting actor for "No Country for Old Men" pose with their Oscars backstage at the 80th annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, February 24, 2008. [Agencies]
Cotillard earned her Academy Award portraying singer Edith Piaf in "La Vie en Rose" and became the first French actress to win the Oscar in that category since 1960.

"I'm speechless now," Cotillard said on stage, visibly surprised and overjoyed. "Thank you life, thank you love. It is true there (are) some angels in this city."

Swinton won supporting actress playing an ethically challenged corporate lawyer in the thriller "Michael Clayton" and Bardem was given his award for portraying a sadistic killer in "No Country For Old Men." (More)

Bardem, who hails from a family of performers, took the occasion to thank his family in Spanish, apologizing in advance to the Hollywood audience.

"Mama, this is for you. This is for your grandparents and your parents," said Bardem. "This is for the comedians of Spain who like you have brought dignity and pride to our profession. This is for Spain and this is for all of you."

The fourth Oscar for "No Country For Old Men" also went to the Coen brothers for best-adapted screenplay by basing their movie on the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name.

 (Xinhua News Agency, China Daily, Agencies February 25, 2008)

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