Irish Eyes Smile At Oscars

Irish luck prevailed at the 80th Academy Awards with Wicklow-based Daniel Day Lewis scooping the best actor award and Frames lead singer Glen Hansard sharing the best original song.

Dark comedy ‘No Country For Old Men’ was a big winner with director brothers Joel and Ethan Coen picking up best picture, director and adapted screenplay. Javier Bardem also picked up best supporting actor.

Lewis who has joint British-Irish citizenship collected his award from Dame Helen Mirren for his role in oil drama ‘There Will Be Blood’ joked onstage, “This is the closest I’ll ever come to getting knighthood.”

The golden statuette is Lewis’ second as he picked up the same award for ‘My Left Foot’ in 1990. He was also nominated in 1994 for ‘In the Name of the Father’ and in 2003 for ‘Gangs of New York’.

Couple Hansard and Marketa Irglova picked up their award to a rousing applause for ‘Falling Slowly’ taken from micro-budget film ‘Once’.

Hansard accepted the Oscar and said: “This is mad. We shot this on two handicams in three weeks for 100 grand. We never thought we would be up here tonight.”

Other individual winners were Marion Cotillard who was emotional when she received her Oscar for best actress for her portrayal of Edith Piaf in ‘La Vie en Rose’.

Tilda Swinton best supporting actress for US legal drama, ‘Michael Clayton’.

Although not winners, credit should be given to Saoirse Ronan, the 13-year-old Carlow resident was nominated for best supporting actress for British romance ‘Atonement’ and Armagh’s Seamus McGarvey was nominated for best cinematographer.

Peter Devlin from Belfast was nominated for best sound category for ‘Transformers’ but the award went to the team behind ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’, which picked up three Oscars including best film editing and best sound editing.

Former exotic dancer Diablo Cody won best original screenplay for the teen pregnancy drama ‘Juno’ and best animation was given to ‘Ratatouille’, the story of a French rat with amazing culinary skills.

Best documentary went to ‘Taxi to the Dark Side’ and best costume design went to ‘Elizabeth: The Golden Age’. Atonement won best original score, gory musical ‘Sweeney Todd’ won best art direction and fantasy ‘The Golden Compass’ won best visual effects.

The glittering ceremony, hosted by Jon Stewart, ran 3 hours and 20 minutes without a hitch - the writers strike which threatened to loom over proceedings was resolved two weeks earlier.


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