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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 February, 2004, 21:27 GMT
UK critics pick Crowe over Rings
Paul Bettany
Paul Bettany was named best British actor for his role in the naval epic
UK film critics have heaped awards on Russell Crowe's naval adventure Master and Commander and snubbed The Lord of the Rings in their annual awards.

Master and Commander picked up three prizes including best film at the London Film Critics' Circle Awards.

But The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - hotly tipped for Oscars glory - did not get a single trophy.

"The British are an island race, which is probably why Master and Commander swept the board," the critics said.

'Memorable performances'

William Russell, chairman of the critics' circle, said: "You can almost taste the salt in the air.

"Director Peter Weir, as well as handling spectacular scenes of storms at sea, also secured memorable performances from a huge cast headed by Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany."

Bettany was named best British actor, while Weir and John Collee jointly took the prize for best screenwriter.

Emma Thompson and Bill Nighy
Emma Thompson and Bill Nighy were rewarded for Love Actually
The final Lord of the Rings movie had been nominated for best film and best director for Peter Jackson.

Best of British

The Magdalene Sisters, the story of girls incarcerated by the Catholic Church in 1960s Ireland, won the Attenborough Award for best British film while its director Peter Mullan was named best British director.

Love Actually stars Bill Nighy and Emma Thompson both won awards for supporting roles in Love Actually and Anne Reid was named best British actress for The Mother.

Crime thriller Mystic River picked up two prizes - best director for Clint Eastwood and Sean Penn for best actor.

The London Film Critics' Circle is made up of 100 reviewers who write for newspapers and magazines published all over the UK.


SEE ALSO:
Crowe battles for critics' award
02 Jan 04  |  Entertainment
Rings dominates Oscar nominations
27 Jan 04  |  Entertainment
Crowe's Commander a rousing tale
03 Dec 03  |  Entertainment
Crowe's quest to get ship shape
29 Nov 03  |  Entertainment


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