Clooney Bags Oscar Nod For 'Timothy Claypole'

GEORGE Clooney has landed a fourth Oscar nomination for his acclaimed performance as a tormented 12th Century court jester.

In Timothy Claypole, Clooney plays the mischevious fool who is given a second chance at life and love when he joins a suburban ghost rental business.

Clooney said last night: “Beneath the gadzooks and the ods bodkins, ‘Claypole’ is a film about how ghost renting lost its way after Watergate.”

But the heart-throb faces stiff competition in the best actor category from Daniel Day Lewis, who delivers a completely unnecessary performance in the hot beverage epic There Will Be Tea.

Day Lewis plays a very young and a very old Earl Grey as he strives to build the biggest tea bag the world has ever seen.

The hottest British hope is Allotment starring Keira Knightley and James McAvoy. The film follows two rivals over 30 years as they battle for supremacy in the rented vegetable plots of post-war Derby.

Knightley gets a best actress nod for her role as Albert Simms, a five-time brocolli champion who refuses to grow spinach but won’t say why.

Meanwhile McAvoy was completely ignored for his spirited performance as Annabel Croft, a young schoolteacher who scandalises her fellow allotmentmen with her use of canes.

Australian sex-horse Cate Blanchett picks up two nominations for her performance as Bob Dylan’s feet in the avant-garde biopic I’m Not In, and a third nomination for her portrayal of Elizabeth in Elizabeth: The Elizabeth Years.

Other Oscar tips include the Coen Brothers’ No John Goodmans for Old Men, the moving French film, My Left Eyelid, about a man who blinks his way across the English Channel, and the stark, brooding western, The Assassination of Dermot Murnaghan by the Coward Nicholas Witchell.



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I Was There

Great moments in sport No. 87: Steven Seagal at the Boat Race

My first experience of what you English call the 'Boat Race' was way back in 1978 when I was in England for the annual Neck Snapping Derby. The previous year I was beaten by Ling Eeeeeee-Lo, my ageing Kwand-eeeeek-oh Master from way back. Ling was old school, and was accompanying me on this trip. Boy, was I looking forward to cracking a few windpipes with the old guy.

I arrived three days before the competition began, so it gave Ling and me the opportunity to take in some of the sights including the changing of the Guard at Birmingham Palace, which I'm lead to believe is an ancient ritual which dates back over 24 years.

On the day of the race we found our spot by the river and assumed the lotus position. Ling had spotted an ice cream van and expressed a desire for a 99 ice cream cone. After having fulfilled my mission, I got back to discover that Ling had been moved on to another spot by a group of guys who were wearing their jumpers around their necks and sipping 'Pimms'. I handed The Master his cone and asked what happened. "They said there was a big group of them and asked if they could have the spot, and I said fine," he replied. He looked okay, but where I come from people show a little more respect to their elders than these assholes.

So I walked over to the biggest guy in the group. "You enjoy disrespecting old men, throwing your weight around?" He reached into his picnic hamper and offered me a scotch egg, to which I replied: "Oh so you’re a tough guy now, huh?" Before he had a chance to move, I'd grabbed his arm, snapped it in two and punched him in the nose with my palm, pushing the bone into his brain.

As the Cambridge boat sank, handing victory to a deserving Oxford crew, the rest of the gang scattered. In a flash, I pulled out my nine mil' and finished the job, apart from this fat guy I felt sorry for, so I let him off with a dislocated pelvis. That's what you get for messing about on my part of the river.

As told to Matt Owen