Controversial movie VERA DRAKE swept the boards at last night's (09FEB05) LONDON CRITICS' CIRCLE FILM AWARDS - with honours bestowed upon actress IMELDA STAUNTON and director Mike Leigh.

The drama, about an illegal abortionist in 1950's London, won a total of five awards at London's Dorchester Hotel, including Best British Film, Best British Director and Best Actress.

Staunton beat off competition from Nicole Kidman to land her prestigious gong ahead of this month's (27FEB05) Academy Awards.

American comedy Sideways was named Best Film, Jamie Foxx landed the Best Actor award, Best British Actor was Daniel Craig and the Best British Actress award was shared by Kate Winslet and Eva Birthistle.

Martin Scorsese won Best Director for The Aviator, with awards chairman William Russell describing the biopic as "the work of a master film-maker who has handled the epic story of Howard Hughes quite brilliantly".

A FOND KISS director Ken Loach received a special honour in recognition of his illustrious 40-year career.

10/02/2005 14:15