British actor Daniel Day-Lewis has staked his claim for an Academy Award after winning the best actor prize at the 13th annual Critics' Choice awards.

Day-Lewis was acknowledged for his outstanding performance as oil prospector Daniel Plainview in Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood.

Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood won the best soundtrack prize for his score to There Will Be Blood in a ceremony dominated by the Coen Brothers' No Country For Old Men.

Javier Bardem took the best supporting actor prize for his role as a psychotic hitman while Joel and Ethan Coen shared the best director award.

And No Country For Old Men beat tough competition from the likes of American Gangster, Atonement and Into The Wild to claim the best picture award.

There was further British success in the best actress category, with Julie Christie getting the nod for Away From Her while Amy Ryan capped an impressive year with the best supporting actress award for Gone Baby Gone - unlikely to be released in the UK due to its tale of the abduction of a four-year-old child, echoing the Madeleine McCann disappearance.

Indie comedy Juno added to its Oscar buzz with the best comedy and best writer awards while musical update Hairspray took the best ensemble prize as well as a best young actress award for lead Nikki Blonsky.

Presenting the inaugural Joel Siegel award to Ocean's Eleven co-star Don Cheadle for his humanitarian work, George Clooney commented on the writers' strike which has seen Sunday's Golden Globe awards ceremony cancelled.

"This is a one-industry town and when a strike happens it's not just writers or actors, it's restaurants and hotels and agencies," he said.

"Our hope is that all of the players involved will lock themselves in a room and not come out until they finish."

08/01/2008 11:16:32