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 Friday, 3 January, 2003, 08:39 GMT
Director Clooney wins critics' prize
Drew Barrymore, Sam Rockwell and George Clooney in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
Clooney (right) starred in and directed the film
George Clooney's first attempt at film directing has scooped a prestigious prize from critics in Las Vegas.

The film, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, was named best picture at the Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards.

Clooney directed the CIA caper as well as starring in it alongside Julia Roberts and Drew Barrymore.

Chuck Barris
The film is based on the memoirs of Chuck Barris
The second Lord of the Rings film won the most prizes, with four, including one for director Peter Jackson.

The Las Vegas Film Critics' Society has presented annual awards, called the Sierras, for five years.

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind is based on the memoirs of game show producer Chuck Barris, who said he led a double life as a CIA hitman.

It was made with the help of Clooney's producing partner Steven Soderbergh, who directed Ocean's Eleven and Traffic.

The Las Vegas critics gave Nicole Kidman the best actress prize for her turn as author Virginia Woolf in The Hours.

Oscars hints

Daniel Day-Lewis was named best actor for his role in Martin Scorsese's epic Gangs of New York.

In Washington DC, critics bestowed their best film award on Tom Hanks' thriller Road to Perdition, directed by Sam Mendes.

Another actor-turned-director, Denzel Washington, was named best director - but had to share that prize with Mendes and Spike Jonze.

Acting honours went to About Schmidt star Jack Nicholson and Julianne Moore, for Far From Heaven.

Critics across the United States hand out their own awards as the film ceremony season gets into full swing, and they often provide pointers towards what will do well at the Oscars in March.

See also:

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