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'Aviator' big BAFA winner



Published: Tue, February 15, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



'Aviator' big BAFA winner

LONDON -- "The Aviator" soared Saturday at the British Academy Film Awards, taking four prizes including best film, reports The Associated Press. The abortion drama "Vera Drake" won three, including best director for Mike Leigh. "The Aviator" -- which has 11 nominations for the Feb. 27 Academy Awards -- had led the field with 14 nominations. But members of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts scattered the prizes widely. While "Aviator" director Martin Scorsese and star Leonardo DiCaprio went home empty-handed, the film won a best supporting actress award for Cate Blanchett, as well as prizes for production design and best hair and makeup. Imelda Staunton won best actress for her wrenching performance as a 1950s Cockney housewife who performs illegal abortions in "Vera Drake." The film also took the costume design prize. Jamie Foxx was named best actor for his uncanny depiction of singer Ray Charles in "Ray"; the film also won the award for best sound. British star Clive Owen was named best supporting actor for "Closer."

Aguilera gets engaged

LOS ANGELES -- Christina Aguilera may be getting what a girl wants. The Grammy-winning singer is engaged to her boyfriend of two years, music executive Jordan Bratman, Aguilera's representative, Meghan Prophet, told The Associated Press on Saturday night. Bratman, 26, proposed to the 23-year-old pop diva Friday night while the two were vacationing at an undisclosed location, Prophet said. "No wedding plans have been set yet," she said. Bratman presented Aguilera with a diamond ring designed by London jeweler Stephen Webster, according to Prophet. The engagement initially was confirmed to the magazines People and US Weekly. Aguilera, whose hits include "What a Girl Wants" and "Genie in a Bottle," won a Grammy as best new artist in 2000, another in 2002 for best pop collaboration with vocals for her cover of "Lady Marmalade" with Lil' Kim, Mya and Pink, and a third award last year for female pop vocal performance on "Beautiful."

Cheech and Chong on pot

ASPEN, Colo. -- Cheech and Chong may have joked about marijuana in their movies, but the comedians say they didn't touch the stuff when the cameras were rolling. "We tried one time and we wasted so much film," said Tommy Chong, recalling a scene in "Up in Smoke." "We were in the car waiting for the cue, you know. And the camera's rolling and we're sitting there, you know, and neither one of us heard the cue." Chong and former partner Cheech Marin appeared together for the first time in 20 years at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. Chong said he isn't ashamed of introducing millions of Vietnam-era kids to marijuana. "When you think of how many kids died drinking alcohol, I feel I've saved millions of lives," he said. Marin said their humor was appreciated by an unexpected group: "Cops were our biggest fans. Because they dealt in what we were dealing with everyday, but in reality... they saw the essential humor and they laughed." Marin and Chong, who recently completed a nine-month sentence for trying to sell marijuana pipes on the Internet, said they are writing two new films, "Grumpy Old Stoners" and "Lord of the Smoke."

Law, fianc & eacute;e in no hurry

LOS ANGELES -- Women of the world, hold your tears: Jude Law may be marrying later rather than sooner. Law's fianc & eacute;e, actress Sienna Miller, said she and Law are in no hurry to tie the knot, according to The Associated Press. "I'm not going to get married this year; I would say if I was," Miller told reporters as she arrived at a London party ahead of Saturday's British Academy Film Awards. "My sister and Jude's sister are both getting married this year. There's no rush, we're just happy to be engaged." A spokeswoman for the couple announced last month that Law, 32, had proposed to 23-year-old Miller on Christmas Day.

Today's birthdays

Actor Kevin McCarthy is 91. Actor Allan Arbus is 87. Country singer Hank Locklin is 87. Former Illinois Congressman John Anderson is 83. Comedian Harvey Korman is 78. Actress Claire Bloom is 74. Author Susan Brownmiller is 70. Songwriter Brian Holland is 64. Rock musician Mick Avory (The Kinks) is 61. Jazz musician Henry Threadgill is 61. Actress Jane Seymour is 54. Singer Melissa Manchester is 54. "Simpsons" creator Matt Groening is 51. Actor Christopher McDonald is 50. Reggae singer Ali Campbell (UB40) is 46. Musician Mikey Craig (Culture Club) is 45. Country singer Michael Reynolds (Pinmonkey) is 41. Actor Michael Easton is 38. Actress Renee O'Connor is 34. Actress Sarah Wynter ("24") is 32. Rock singer Brandon Boyd (Incubus) is 29. Actress Ashley Lyn Cafagna is 22.




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