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Last Updated: Monday, 11 December 2006, 09:55 GMT
Eastwood film tops LA film awards
Ken Watanabe and Clint Eastwood
Ken Watanabe stars in Clint Eastwood's Letters from Iwo Jima
Clint Eastwood's Letters from Iwo Jima has been named 2006's best film by Los Angeles film critics.

The film, starring Ken Watanabe, looks at how Japan defended the island from US troops during the battle in 1945.

It is the second picture Eastwood has directed this year which centres on World War II.

The Queen, starring Dame Helen Mirren, was runner-up for best picture, while comedian Sacha Baron Cohen jointly won the best actor award for Borat.

Forest Whitaker, who plays Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland, shared the title.

Best director

The Queen won a total of three awards, including best actress for Dame Helen, best supporting actor for Michael Sheen and best screenplay.

The supporting actress prize went to Luminita Gheorghiu for the Romanian film The Death of Mr Lazarescu.

Paul Greengrass took the title of best director for United 93, with Eastwood coming second.

Letters from Iwo Jima, released in the US on 20 December, comes just two months after Eastwood's Flags of Our Fathers, which tackles the same subject but is told through the eyes of the US troops.

Last week Letters from Iwo Jima also topped the US National Board of Review (NBR) list for best film.

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association awards, which will be officially handed out on 14 January, and the NBR awards are seen as early indicators for Oscar success.

The Oscars ceremony will take place on 25 February.

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