Sir Michael Caine honoured by London's film critics

Story by Jack Foley

 

SIR Michael Caine has been named actor of the year by the London Film Critics’ Circle for his performance in The Quiet American, the movie based on a novel by Graham Greene.

The veteran star of films such as Alfie and The Italian Job beat off some stiff competition from the likes of Oscar favourite, Jack Nicholson, to win the coveted award, for his portrayal of a cynical British journalist caught in a love triangle in 1950s Saigon.

Nicholson, however, wasn’t overlooked, as his latest, About Schmidt, was named film of the year.

Other key winners on the night, which was held at London’s Dorchester Hotel on Wednesday (February 12), included Hugh Grant, who was voted best British actor for About A Boy, and Lesley Manville, who took the best British actress award for Mike Leigh’s All Or Nothing.

The actress of the year, meanwhile, was named as Stockard Channing, who won for the thriller, The Business of Strangers.

The mainstream didn’t get overlooked, either, with Kenneth Branagh being voted best British supporting actor for his role as Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and Emily Watson being named as best British supporting actress for Red Dragon, the third film in the Hannibal Lecter series.

The best British newcomer accolade was shared between Bend It Like Beckham’s Keira Knightley (who has since appeared in the TV remake of Doctor Zhivago) and Martin Compston, who astounded many with his performance in Ken Loach's gritty Sweet Sixteen.

Mike Leigh’s aforementioned All Or Nothing was voted British film of the year.

In what proved to be a busy evening for Sir Michael Caine, he also presented an outstanding contribution award to director Lewis Gilbert, 82, whose credits include Alife, Educating Rita, and Shirley Valentine.

Proceeds from the event are being donated to the NSPCC.

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