Mickey Rourke put some Oscar-race distance between himself and Sean Penn last night, winning the British Academy Awards' Best Actor prize before ceremonially washing it down backstage with a bottle of Champagne.

Maybe it was just the spirit of the moment, or maybe it was just a symbolic statement that there would be no milk served during the awards-season home stretch. Either way, with the powerful international consortium of the British, the foreign press, and the French breast-baring establishment all supporting him, Rourke's front-runner status is all but affirmed. Go ahead and re-book WrestleMania, Mickey — nothing can stop you now.

[Photo: AP]