Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Chris Kunitz Womens Jersey , Missouri, which went into the London Critics' Circle Film Awards in the lead with seven nominations, went home with a trio of gongs on Sunday night in the British capital.

The dark comedy claimed the film of the year prize, plus actress of the year for Frances McDormand and scriptwriter of the year for its director and writer Martin McDonagh.

Elsewhere, there was a solid spread of winners.

Timothee Chalamet was named actor of the year for Call Me by Your Name, Sean Baker earned director of the year honors for The Florida Project and Dunkirk was tapped as BritishIrish film of the year.

Chalamet, who beat out the likes of Gary Oldman and Daniel Day-Lewis, thanked his "tongue wrestling partner, Armie Hammer" upon collecting the award.

In the BritishIrish actress of the year category, Sally Hawkins won for The Shape of Water, Maudie and Paddington 2, with Daniel Kaluuya coming away with the best BritshIrish actor of the year prize for Get Out.

Earlier on the night, Hugh Grant was named best supporting actor for Paddington 2, while Phantom Thread's Lesley Manville won the best supporting actress award.

"Well, that's ludicrous. First Brexit, then Trump, now me winning, it really is the end of days," said Grant in reference to his win.

Raoul Peck's I Am Not Your Negro claimed the best documentary honor; Elle won in the foreign-language film category; and the young BritishIrish performer award went to Harris Dickinson for his lead role in Beach Rats.

For his debut feature, the indie hit God's Own Country, Francis Lee won the breakthrough BritishIrish filmmaker prize.

The London Critics' Circle honors closed with Kate Winslet being presented with the Dilys Powell Award for excellence in film, which was given to her by her Holiday co-star Jude Law.(Agencies)

Casey Affleck has decided not to present the Oscar for best actress at this years ceremony.

According to a representative from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the actor has notified the organization that he will not be attending the event. Affleck won best actor at the 2017 Oscars for his performance in Manchester by the Sea and tradition dictates that he would have presented the best actress award this year.

The star is understood not to want to distract from the #MeToo movement given previous allegations against him for sexual harassment on the set of the mockumentary Im Still Here.

In 2010, his former colleagues Amanda White and Magdalena Gorka sued Affleck for multiple complaints relating to his behavior while making the film. Gorkas suit referred to the experience as the most traumatizing of her career while White referred to a nearly daily barrage of sexual comments, innuendo, and unwelcome advances by crew members, within the presence and with the active encouragement of Affleck.

Both suits were later settled. It was settled to the satisfaction of all, Affleck said to the New York Times. I was hurt and upset I am sure all were but I am over it. It was an unfortunate situation mostly for the innocent bystanders of the families of those involved.

Afflecks Oscar was presented by Brie Larson, who has been a vocal advocate for sexual abuse victims. She handed over the award to Affleck with little pleasure, refusing to clap. I think that whatever it was that I did onstage kind of spoke for itself, she told Vanity Fair.

His decision not to attend this year arrives after an online petition calling on the Academy not to allow him on stage reached almost 20,000 names. There had already been talk of changing how awards were presented this year, with producers Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd reportedly experimenting with a shakeup.

This years best actress race is spearheaded by Frances McDormand, the favorite to win for her performance in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.(Agencies)

BEIJING The global launch of the iPhone 7 on Friday is crucial to Apples fortunes in China, but both it and its biggest rival Samsung, hit by a recall over exploding batteries, are struggling in the face of upstart local competitors.

The U.S. and South Korean firms were relegated to fourth and fifth place respectively in the Asian giants smartphone market in the first half of this year, according to consultancy Canalys.

Ahead of them came three Chinese firms, leader Huawei with a 16% share, then two companies little known elsewhere, Vivo and Oppo.

Apple faces a lot of challenges and pressures in China from local manufacturers who are developing medium- to high-end handsets and offer a lot of flagship products, said Canalys China analyst Jessie Ding.

The iPhone 7which comes with an improved camera, a water resistant body and minus an earphone jackdoesnt have many innovative features, she said, pointing out that its double camera function was available on a Huawei smartphone six months ago, and it lacks wireless charging capabilities.

In its most recent quarterly results, Apple said Greater China dropped from second to third place among its markets in the April-June periodwhen market research firm IDC says its iPhone sales collapsed by 32 percent year-on-year.

For its part, Samsung has had to recall 2.5 million of its flagship Galaxy Note 7 handsets after faulty batteries caused some to explode during charging.

The company has handled the issue badly, said Neil Mawston of Strategy Analytics, with slow decision-making, poor communications and a lack of coordination, and its image risks suffering.

Brand loyalty is not as strong in China as in other markets, he told AFP. Its a very crowded, fragmented market and fiercely competitive, with rivals undercutting each other with price and design. So its not a market you can afford to falter in.

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