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Clint and Charlize scoop Film Critics awards

January 5, 2004
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One of the silver screen's elder statesmen, Clint Eastwood, has been named best director of 2003 at the National Society of Film Critics Awards in New York.

The 73-year-old's Mystic River, which has been hotly tipped for Oscar success, features strong performances from Sean Penn, Tim Robbins and Kevin Bacon. Nonetheless, it didn't manage to scoop the Society's best film award, which was taken by American Splendor.

The tale of a comic book writer who becomes an unlikely star also won the best screenplay prize for filmmaking duo Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini. Taking third place in the film category was Sofia Coppola's Lost In Translation, which also garnered a best actor gong for Bill Murray.

In the film Bill plays a has-been film star who finds himself exploring Tokyo with a young graduate. The flick marks director Sofia Coppola's emergence from her legendary father Francis Ford Coppola's shadow.

South African beauty Charlize Theron was the other big winner of the night, taking home the best actress award for her portrayal of serial killer Aileen Carol Wuornos in the biopic Monster.

The National Society of Film Critics is an association of 55 of America's most influential cinema reviewers. Every year they meet at a restaurant in Manhattan to decide upon the best movies of the previous 12 months.

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Photo: ©
Clint Eastwood's Mystic River has been praised both for its direction, and the performances of actors Sean Penn and Tim Robbins
Photo: ©
Charlize has been tipped for Oscar success after winning the National Society of Film Critics best actress gong

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