'Hurt Locker' triumphs in British awards
• Photo gallery: In The Spotlight
LONDON — Britain's love of the underdog triumphed yesterday as the intimate war drama "The Hurt Locker" beat 3-D spectacular "Avatar" to take six prizes, including best picture, at the British Academy Film Awards.
Kathryn Bigelow won the best-director battle against ex-husband James Cameron ("Avatar") with her intense depiction of a bomb-disposal squad in Iraq.
Both films had eight nominations for the British awards, considered an indicator of possible success at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles next month. "Avatar" and "The Hurt Locker" each have nine Oscar nominations.
"The Hurt Locker" also took British prizes for original screenplay, cinematography, editing and sound. "Avatar" won awards for production design and visual effects.
CONNICK PLAYS FOR KIDS AT WHITE HOUSE
WASHINGTON — Harry Connick Jr. told students yesterday that music can get people through the darkest times — even a disaster like Hurricane Katrina, which devastated his hometown, New Orleans, in 2005.
The Grammy-winning composer and singer was welcomed to the White House by first lady Michelle Obama, who invited him to perform for members of a Washington elementary school glee club.
She told the children that just as singing in their club makes them happy, music can help lift the spirits of a city like New Orleans.
Connick co-founded the Musicians' Village in New Orleans, which helped provide housing for displaced musicians after Katrina.
'SHUTTER ISLAND' DEBUT RULES AT BOX OFFICE
LOS ANGELES — Martin Scorsese's and Leonardo DiCaprio's voyage to "Shutter Island" landed them at No. 1 at the weekend box office.
Their creepy crime thriller set at a remote insane asylum opened with $40.2 million, according to studio estimates yesterday. It's the fourth collaboration for Scorsese and DiCaprio and the best opening yet for the pair.
Roman Polanski's thriller "The Ghost Writer" got off to a big start in limited release, pulling in $179,000 at four theaters in New York City and Los Angeles for a whopping average of $44,750 a cinema.
ANDREW KOENIG GOES MISSING IN CANADA
LOS ANGELES — Andrew Koenig, who played Richard "Boner" Stabone to Kirk Cameron's Mike Seaver in more than two dozen late-1980s episodes of the "Growing Pains" sitcom, has been missing for a week, and his family — his dad is Walter Koenig of the original "Star Trek" — friends and police are concerned.
His sister said Koenig, 41, was last seen Feb. 14 in Vancouver, British Columbia, where he was visiting friends. He was to have flown out Feb. 16 but didn't make the flight.
A statement released by the police department said Koenig "has recently been despondent and his family and friends are concerned for his well-being."
— Advertiser News Services