Michael Haneke's "Hidden" won the best movie award Saturday at the annual European Film Awards. The Austrian also took the best director prize, while Daniel Auteuil was named best actor for his part in the film.
Haneke's film, a French-Austrian-German-Italian co-production, beat out contenders including Cannes festival winner "The Child" and Wim Wenders' "Don't Come Knocking."
The cryptic thriller follows a couple, played by Auteuil and Juliette Binoche, who are besieged by menacing videotapes. As a father whose comfortable self-importance unravels, Auteuil portrays a blameless man questioning his actions.
Haneke also won the directing prize at Cannes in May for "Hidden," also known by its French title "Cache." His previous films include "The Piano Teacher" and "The Time of the Wolf."
At Saturday's gala, Germany's Julia Jentsch was named best actress for the title role in "Sophie Scholl The Final Days." Scholl, an iconic member of the anti-Nazi resistance, was beheaded along with her brother Hans following their arrest. The role won Jentsch best actress honors at the Berlin film festival in February.
"Good Night, and Good Luck," directed, produced and co-written by George Clooney, who also co-stars in the film, was chosen as best non-European movie.
The best screenplay award went to Hany Abu-Assad and Bero Beyer for "Paradise Now," a movie that explores the motivations of Palestinian suicide bombers.
Sean Connery collected a lifetime achievement prize for his career, which has seen him stray from James Bond movies to "The Name of the Rose" and "The Untouchables." "I am very honored," Connery told the gathering of some 1,200 guests.
The European Film Academy has handed out the awards since 1988. Last year, the best movie award went to German director Fatih Akin's "Gegen die Wand" ("Head On") at a gala in Barcelona, reported AP. P.T.
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