Casino Royal star Daniel Craig was named the best actor at the Evening Standard British Film Awards for his electrifying portrayal of the suave 007 agent, James Bond.
Craig also stands a chance to get the same honour at the upcoming BAFTA ceremony, scheduled for next week, where he has been nominated along with Leonardo di Caprio and Peter O’Toole.
For the first time this award season, the best actress prize did not go to Oscar favourite Dame Helen Mirren for her role in The Queen.
The trophy was instead bagged by fellow Judi Dench who portrayed an embittered schoolteacher in Notes On A Scandal.
Award in the Best film category went to United 93, a harrowing dramatisation of the hijacking of a 9/11 flight, while Borat creator Sacha Baron Cohen won the Peter Sellers Award for comedy.
Peter Morgan was honoured with the best screenplay award for two Oscar-nominated films – The Queen and The Last King of Scotland.
The Queen director Stephen Frears took home the Alexander Walker Special Award "for making British film reverberate around the world," reports the Daily Mail. His other hit films include My Beautiful Laundrette, Dangerous Liaisons, and Dirty Pretty Things.
Film Critics judged the awards, and the winners attended a celebratory dinner at The Ivy restaurant in London.
List of award winners:
Best Film - United 93
Best Actor - Daniel Craig (Casino Royale)
Best Actress - Dame Judi Dench (Notes On A Scandal)
The Peter Sellers Award for Comedy - Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan)
Best Screenplay - Peter Morgan (The Queen/The Last King of Scotland)
Technical Achievement - Anthony Dod Mantle (cinematographer, The Last King of Scotland/Brothers of the Head)
Most Promising Newcomer - Paul Andrew Williams (director, London To Brighton)
The Alexander Walker Special Award - Stephen Frears