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Into the Oscar home stretch with the BAFTA winners

In addition to the underwhleming-as-usual Grammys (with the exception of Quentin Tarantino yelling out the nominees' names for Album of the Year and the hilarity of Tony Bennett thanking Target), Sunday was also the day the British Academy of Film and Television Arts handed out their awards. Read the winners here. A few surprises amongst the expected winners (Forest, Helen, Jennifer): --Brit Paul Greengrass won the David Lean Award for Achievement in Direction over Martin Scorsese. When the Oscar nominations first came out last month, I was convinced Greengrass would win. I haven't yet had the courage to watch United 93 but many people here have and between them and the general critical accolades and the fact that there isn't a very strong Best Picture winner, I thought he'd have it. But the last few weeks have seen a surge of Scorsese favor, and I forgot all about him. This BAFTA win puts Greengrass back in the running. --The Queen won the Best Film award, over three of the film it's competing against for Best Picture (Last King of Scotland took the Letters of Iwo Jima spot). It makes sense it won for the BAFTAs, and I'd be thrilled if it won the Oscar. With all the acclaim Ms. Mirren has been getting for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth, there hasn't been much said about how great the film is as a whole. Michael Sheen is especially strong as then popular Tony Blair. Sheen lost out on the Actor in a Supporting Role award to Alan Arkin. Eddie Murphy wasn't nominated, but Jack Nicholson was (for The Departed, which is now out on DVD). It's cool that Arkin's subtle but strong performance won over Jack's typical a tad over the top character. --Happy Feet beat out Cars and Flushed Away (winner of several individual acheivement awards at the Annie's or "Animation's Highest Honor"). Could it win an Oscar over the good-but-not-great-but-still-Pixar Cars? Eleven days to go before the big day. Any predictions?

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