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Chicago Critics Award Spielberg

March 3, 1999

CHICAGO (AP) _ Steven Spielberg’s ``Saving Private Ryan″ won best picture and Terrence Malick (``The Thin Red Line″) won best director honors at the Chicago Film Critics Awards.

Spielberg paid homage to movie critic Gene Siskel, who died last month. Siskel and TV partner Roger Ebert used the power of television for the better ``and have done a remarkable thing for the motion pictures,″ Spielberg said in accepting his award Monday.

Ebert toasted the Spielberg in return, noting that some filmmakers appeal to mass audiences while others strive for high art, but few achieve both in the same film.

``Our winner tonight has done that,″ said Ebert.

British stage veteran Ian McKellen won best actor for his role in ``Gods and Monsters,″ an account of the final days of British film director James Whale.

Cate Blanchett won best actress for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth in the film ``Elizabeth.″

Kathy Bates won best supporting actress for her role as the eccentric political fixer in ``Primary Colors,″ while Billy Bob Thornton won best supporting actor for his work in ``A Simple Plan.″

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