Irish actor wins Boston critics' award and may be Oscar contender


Young Irish actor Colin Farrell has been named best actor of the year by the Boston Society of Film Critics. He was chosen for his first leading role in a film, Joel Schumacher's Tiger land, in which he plays a cocky, rebellious Texan soldier at a pre-Vietnam boot camp in 1971. Prior to being chosen by Schumacher to star in the film, Farrell, who is 24 and from Castleknock in Dublin, was best known for his recurring role as Danny in the TV series, Ballykissangel, and for a supporting role in the Irish gangster film, Ordinary Decent Criminal.

The end-of-year awards by the US critics' groups are regarded as influential in terms of the Oscar nominations which follow in the spring, and the Boston award enhances Farrell's prospects as an Oscar contender. The Boston critics voted the Spanish actor, Javier Bardem, in second place for Before Night Falls, and third place was a tie between two-time Oscar-winner Tom Hanks for Cast Away and Mark Ruffalo for You Can Count On Me.

Since filming Tigerland, Colin Farrell has starred as Jesse James in American Outlaws, at the head of a cast that includes Kathy Bates, Timothy Dalton and Scott Caan. Last month he reunited with director Schumacher for Phone Booth, to star in a role originally intended for Jim Carrey, as a publicist who answers a payphone and finds an assassin at the other end of the line. Next month Farrell co-stars with Bruce Willis in Hart's War, which will be shot in Prague. It features Farrell as a prisoner-of-war assigned to defend a black soldier accused of murder in a German prison camp.