LOS ANGELES - They ground up Steve Buscemi in a wood-chipper. They made baby-snatchers out of Nicolas Cage and Holly Hunter. They turned mythic Greek wanderer Odysseus into a Depression-era roots-music minstrel with George Clooney's face.
Two of the most imaginatively twisted minds in modern film, Joel and Ethan Coen, completed their journey from the fringes to Hollywood's mainstream on Sunday as their crime saga 'No Country for Old Men' won a leading four Academy Awards, including best picture.
In a year when the quirky, offbeat and just plain weird storytelling of the Coens triumphed at the biggest ceremony in show business, the oddball brothers found a lot to like in their fellow nominees.
'It sounds like a cliche, but all the movies that were nominated were really interesting to me personally, and that isn't always the case,' Joel Coen said. 'All of them to me personally I thought were fantastically good movies.'
The Coens' brooding, bloody tale of violence in a desolate corner of west Texas was the American standard-bearer for an Oscar show that otherwise had an international flair - all four acting prizes went to Europeans.
Winners at the 80th annual Academy Awards:
· Best Motion Picture: 'No Country for Old Men.'
· Lead Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, 'There Will Be Blood.'
· Lead Actress: Marion Cotillard, 'La Vie en Rose.'
· Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem, 'No Country for Old Men.'
· Supporting Actress: Tilda Swinton, 'Michael Clayton.'
· Director: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, 'No Country for Old Men.'
· Foreign Language Film: 'The Counterfeiters,' Austria.
· Adapted Screenplay: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, 'No Country for Old Men.'
· Original Screenplay: Diablo Cody, 'Juno.'
· Animated Feature Film: 'Ratatouille.'
· Art Direction: 'Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.'
· Cinematography: 'There Will Be Blood.'
· Sound Mixing: 'The Bourne Ultimatum.'
· Sound Editing: 'The Bourne Ultimatum.'
· Original Score: 'Atonement,' Dario Marianelli.
· Original Song: 'Falling Slowly' from 'Once,' Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova.
· Costume: 'Elizabeth: The Golden Age.'
· Documentary Feature: 'Taxi to the Dark Side.'
· Documentary Short Subject: 'Freeheld.'
· Film Editing: 'The Bourne Ultimatum.'
· Makeup: 'La Vie en Rose.'
· Animated Short Film: 'Peter & the Wolf.'
· Live Action Short Film: 'Le Mozart des Pickpockets ('The Mozart of Pickpockets').'
· Visual Effects: 'The Golden Compass.'