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Brokeback honoured by London Film Critics' Circle

Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain

Story by Jack Foley

OSCAR favourite Brokeback Mountain has won two awards at the 26th London Film Critics’ Circle awards.

The gay western, directed by Ang Lee, was named film of the year and director of the year at the ceremony in London on Wednesday, February 8, 2006.

The film has emerged as the clear favourite of the awards season, having already won four Golden Globes and secured eight Oscar nominations, including best film.

But British talent was recognised in the main acting categories, with The Constant Gardener stars Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz picking up best actor and actress.

Thandie Newton was also named best actress in a supporting role for her performance in racial drama, Crash.

Other notable awards went to Bruno Ganz, as actor of the year, for his mesmerizing portrayal of Adolf Hitler in Downfall, while Naomi Watts was named actress of the year for her role in King Kong.

In announcing the awards, London Film Critics’ Circle chairman William Russell said: “Brokeback Mountain has all the ingredients of a classic love story, except that the lovers are two young ranch hands who fall in love one summer while herding sheep, but go on to marry and have children, while continuing to meet over the years.

“Ang Lee has succeeded in presenting this highly controversial situation in an intelligent and sensitive fashion, and secured outstanding performances from the entire cast. It is a feat which has been rightly recognised.”

The London Film Critics’ Circle awards are presented annually to reward the best in British and international film talent.

Winners in full

Film of the Year – Brokeback Mountain

Director of the year – Ang Lee

Actress of the year – Naomi Watts (King Kong)

Actor of the year – Bruno Ganz (Downfall)

Best Supporting actress – Thandie Newton (Crash)

Best Supporting actor – Tom Hollander (Pride and Prejudice)

Best British actress – Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardener)

Best British actor – Ralph Fiennes (The Constant Gardener)

Best British newcomer – Kelly Reilly (Mrs Henderson Presents)

Best British producer – Simon Channing Williams (The Constant Gardener)

Best British director – Joe Wright (Pride and Prejudice)

Best Foreign Language Film – Downfall

Best Screenwriter – Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco (Crash)

The Attenborough Award – The Constant Gardener

Dilys Powell Award – Bryan Forbes CBE