"No Country" Top Winner At Oscars

Spanish actor Javier Bardem poses with the Oscar for best supporting actor for his work in "No Country for Old Men" at the 80th Academy Awards Sunday, Feb. 24, 2008, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian
The Coen brothers' dark thriller, "No Country For Old Men," earned the most trophies at the 80th Annual Academy Awards Sunday night, winning in four out of the eight categories in which it was nominated, including best picture, best director, and best adapted screenplay.

Accepting the directing honor alongside his brother, Ethan, Joel Coen recalled how they got their start in a career that has seen them advance from oddballs with a devoted cult following to broader audiences. He noted they have been making films since childhood, including one at the Minneapolis airport called "Henry Kissinger: Man on the Go."

80th Annual Academy Awards Winners List
"What we do now doesn't feel that much different from what we were doing then," Joel Coen said. "We're very thankful to all of you out there for continuing to let us play in our corner of the sandbox."

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2Past winners - for their screenplay to 1996's "Fargo" - the Coens joined an elite list of filmmakers to win three Oscars in a single night, including Francis Ford Coppola ("The Godfather Part II"), James Cameron ("Titanic") and Billy Wilder ("The Apartment").

With a domestic box office take of $64 million, "No Country" is the biggest box office hit for the Coens, whose tales often are an acquired taste appealing to narrow crowds. Their films include the modest hits "Fargo" and "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" and such lesser-known yarns as "The Hudsucker Proxy" and "The Man Who Wasn't There."

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"There Will Be Blood," which also had eight nominations, took home only two awards, while "Michael Clayton" and "Atonement" each were awarded a single Oscar, even though they both started out the evening with seven nominations.

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It was "The Bourne Ultimatum," starring Matt Damon, that had the second highest amount of wins, sweeping in all three nominated categories. The third installment of the spy thriller won best editing, best sound editing, and best sound mixing.

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Spanish actor Javier Bardem was one of four Europeans who won the top acting prizes.

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Bardem took home the best supporting actor trophy for his role as the oddly-coiffed serial killer in "No Country for Old Men."

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3"Thank you to the Coens for being crazy enough to think I could do that and put one of the most horrible haircuts in history on my head," he said.

As expected, actor Daniel Day-Lewis, born in London, but now an Irish citizen, won best actor for his powerful performance as a ruthless oilman in "There Will Be Blood," which also won best cinematography.

"That's the closest I'll ever come to getting a knighthood, so thank you," he quipped as he accepted his award from Helen Mirren, who won best actress last year for her turn as Queen Elizabeth I.

It was the second Oscar for Day-Lewis, who won in the same category for 1989's "My Left Foot."

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In what may be seen as an upset by those predicting a win for Amy Ryan or Ruby Dee, Tilda Swinton took home the sole award for "Michael Clayton," winning best supporting actress for her role as a corporate lawyer with questionable ethics.

"I have an American agent who is the spitting image of this," said Swinton, fondly looking at her Oscar statuette.

"Really, truly, the same shape head, and it has to be said, the buttocks. And I'm giving this to him, because there's no way I'd be in America at all, ever, on a plane if it wasn't for him," said the actress who, like Day-Lewis, hails from the U.K.

French actress Marion Cotillard won for her tour de force performance as legendary singer Edith Piaf in "La Vie En Rose."

"Thank you life, thank you love and - it is true, there (are) some angels in this city. Thank you so, so much," Cotillard said tearfully as she accepted her best actress trophy, the first ever for a French-language performance.

Cotillard beat out Julie Christie, who was expected to win her second Oscar for her portrayal of a woman succumbing to Alzheimer's in "Away From Her."

Best original screenplay winner, Diablo Cody, also got teary-eyed during her acceptance speech for "Juno."

"Most of all I want to thank my family for loving me exactly the way I am," said Cody, a former exotic dancer.

The lone Oscar for "Atonement" went to Dario Marianelli, who composed the brilliant typewriter-inspired score for the tragic romance.