Europeans Sweep Acting Oscars

When actress Helen Mirren announced Daniel Day-Lewis' Academy Award for best actor Sunday night, he instantly focused on the face of his wife, Rebecca Miller. But for the British actor who already had received an Oscar, in 1990, for his leading role in "My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown," the second time around was a bit different.

'[I was] petrified by the whole thing," he told "Good Morning America's" Diane Sawyer.

Though critics favored him to take the show's top honor, Day-Lewis said he always is unaware of when he gives a good performances.

"I think you know when you're OK, which is a very dangerous thing to know," said Day-Lewis, who portrayed a greedy oilman in "There Will Be Blood."

The actor, who playfully knelt before Mirren as she "knighted" him with the Oscar statue before giving his speech, said he found carrying the prize around a bit ostentatious.

"It's like you're inviting people to slap you on the back," Day-Lewis said.

Day-Lewis was only one of Tinsletown's big winners. The Coen brothers, who are seen as Hollywood mavericks and outsiders, received the utmost respect from their peers after "No Country for Old Men" racked up multiple Oscars.


Daniel Day-Lewis won the best actor Oscar for "There Will Be Blood."

"No Country" garnered Oscar gold for supporting actor Javier Bardem, and Joel and Ethan Coen grabbed best director, best adapted screenplay and best picture honors.

"What we do now doesn't feel that much different from what we were doing then," Joel Coen said during his acceptance speech. "We're very thankful to all of you out there for continuing to let us play in our corner of the sandbox."


The Coen brothers' film "No Country for Old Men" received four awards.

The Coens missed out on getting themselves four wins for a single film, — which would have made Oscar history — when they lost the best editing prize, for which they were nominated under the pseudonym Roderick Jaynes.

All of the night's top acting honors went to Europeans, including the evening's biggest surprise. French actress Marion Cotillard grabbed the best actress award for her starring role as Edith Piaf in "La Vie En Rose."

The first-ever best actress winner for a French-language performance tearfully thanked her director, Olivier Dahan, in her speech.


Marion Cotillard won the best actress Oscar for "La Vie En Rose."

"Maestro Olivier, you rocked my life. You have truly rocked my life," said Cotillard. "It is true there [are] some angels in this city."

Dahan believed in the 32-year-old actress even when the studios didn't. Cotillard was stunned to win the award.

"I tried to remember exactly what was my reaction, but it's kind of hard for the moment. Everything is so surreal," Cotillard said backstage.

Cotillard said she learned a lot from playing the chanteuse Piaf.

"She taught me to totally love life, to love myself a little more, which is good," Cotillard said.


Tilda Swinton won the best supporting actress Oscar for "Michael Clayton."

British actress Tilda Swinton was the supporting-actress winner for "Michael Clayton." In the film she plays Karen Crowder, the lead attorney for a company facing a $3 billion class-action lawsuit.

"I have a lot of compassion for this woman, she's such a mess and she thinks she has to be perfect and it just ain't true," Swinton said.

Swinton said she was shocked to win and was prepared to cheer on another actress.

"I had the sort of reverse 'Zoolander' moment. You know in "Zoolander" when he jumps onto the stage even though someone else's name is gone," Swinton said. "I kind of didn't hear my own name. [It's] a [of] sort of delay. It came like in a bad connection from Europe and I was just sitting there happily waiting to clap for somebody else and slowly I realized."

Immediately afterward, Swinton said she was unable to remember what she said in her acceptance speech, but she did playfully tease co-star and best actor nominee George Clooney about his dedication to the craft.

"George Clooney, you know, the seriousness and the dedication to your art, seeing you climb into that rubber bat suit from 'Batman & Robin,' the one with the nipples," Swinton joked.

This year's ceremony marked the second time in the Oscar's 80-year history that all four top acting winners were foreigners. The first time this occurred was in 1964, when the recipients were Rex Harrison, Julie Andrews, Peter Ustinov and Lila Kedrova, according to The Associated Press.


Diablo Cody got Oscar gold for best screenplay.

Writer Diablo Cody won the Oscar for best screenplay for the pregnant teen comedy "Juno." It was Cody's first-ever screenplay and a long way from her beginnings as a stripper.

During the 29-year-old's acceptance speech, Cody made it a point to thank writers, who had been on strike for three months just prior to the awards.

"This is for the writers, and I want to thank all the writers. I especially want to thank my fellow nominees because I worship you guys and I'm learning from you every day," she said.

Cody's movie became a hit and turned its leading actress, Ellen Page, into a bona fide star.

Critics and audiences have had varying interpretations of the picture, in which a high school girl wrestles with an unexpected pregnancy.

"There's so many interpretations. That's so beautiful because that's when something you create takes on a life of its own and becomes a different film to every person who sees it," she said. "Then a huge quantity of people see it and you think about all those different films that exist now — the most powerful thing and it's the most wonderful thing about being a screenwriter."

Cody said "Juno" likely won't have a sequel.

"I keep Juno," she said. "I want to freeze Juno as she is because I'm so protective of her."

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