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Award-Winning Movies: Anti-Bush Documentary + Female Genital Mutilation Drama

National Society of Film Critics Best FilmNational Society of Film Critics' Best Film: 'Million Dollar Baby,' with Best Actress co-winner Hilary Swank.

National Society of Film Critics' Best Film: 'Million Dollar Baby'; Hilary Swank in Best Actress tie

The National Society of Film Critics named Clint Eastwood's boxing drama Million Dollar Baby as the Best Film of 2004 at a gathering held on Jan. 9, '05, at Sardi's in New York City. The critics' Best Director, however, was a major surprise: Zhang Yimou for the sumptuous period epic House of Flying Daggers.

Among the NSFC's other top picks were Best Actor Jamie Foxx, a critical favorite so far this awards season for his portrayal of singer Ray Charles in Taylor Hackford's biopic Ray, and, in the supporting categories, Sideways actors Virginia Madsen and Thomas Haden Church (who is actually Paul Giamatti's co-lead in the film).

The Best Actresses – there were two of them – were Hilary Swank for her work as a tough-as-hammers boxer in Million Dollar Baby and Imelda Staunton, who plays a sweet-natured abortionist in Mike Leigh's British drama Vera Drake.

Ousmane Sembene's Moolaadé, about the practice of female circumcision (or genital mutilation) in a remote village in Burkina Faso, was the surprising Best Foreign Language Film winner. Especially surprising when one considers that Zhang Yimou's House of Flying Daggers was the runner-up in that category, whereas Yimou's two runner-up directors were Alexander Payne and Clint Eastwood.

2004 National Society of Film Critics winners

Best Picture: Million Dollar Baby, directed by Clint Eastwood.

Runners-up: Sideways, directed by Alexander Payne. Before Sunset directed by Richard Linklater.

Best Foreign Language Film: Moolaadé, directed by Ousmane Sembene.

Runners-up: House of Flying Daggers / Shi mian mai fu, directed by Zhang Yimou. Notre musique, directed by Jean-Luc Godard.

Best Actor: Jamie Foxx, Ray.

Runners-up: Paul Giamatti, Sideways. Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby.

Best Actress (tie): Imelda Staunton, Vera Drake; Hilary Swank, Million Dollar Baby.

Runner-up: Julie Delpy, Before Sunset.

Best Supporting Actor: Thomas Haden Church, Sideways.

Runners-up: Morgan Freeman, Million Dollar Baby. Peter Sarsgaard, Kinsey.

Best Supporting Actress: Virginia Madsen, Sideways.

Runners-up: Cate Blanchett, The Aviator and Coffee and Cigarettes. Laura Linney, Kinsey.

Best Director: Zhang Yimou, House of Flying Daggers and Hero / Ying xiong.

Runners-up: Alexander Payne, Sideways. Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby.

Best Screenplay: Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Sideways.

Runners-up: Charlie Kaufman, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, and Ethan Hawke, Before Sunset.

Best Non-Fiction Film / Best Documentary: Tarnation, directed by Jonathan Caouette.

Runners-up: The Story of the Weeping Camel / Die Geschichte vom weinenden Kamel, directed by Davaa Myambasuren and Luigi Falorni. Bright Leaves, directed by Ross McElwee.

Best Cinematography: Zhao Xiaoding, House of Flying Daggers.

Runners-up: Christopher Doyle, Hero. Dion Beebe and Paul Cameron Collateral.

Special Citation: Richard Schickel and Brian Jamieson for the restoration of Samuel Fuller's The Big Red One.

Film Heritage Awards (to new DVDs)

 

Hilary Swank Million Dollar Baby image: Warner Bros.

National Society of Film Critics' website.

Criticis' Choice Awards

Critics' Choice Awards winner Sideways with Virginia Madsen Paul GiamattiCritics' Choice Awards Best Picture: 'Sideways,' with Virginia Madsen and Paul Giamatti.

Critics' Choice Awards' top choice: 'Sideways'

Alexander Payne's road movie Sideways was the Best Picture winner at the Broadcast Film Critics Association's Critics' Choice Awards on Jan. 10, '05. Additionally, Sideways' actors Virginia Madsen and Thomas Haden Church were the top picks in the Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor categories, respectively. And finally, Payne and Jim Taylor won the Best Adapted Screenplay Critics Choice Award while Madsen, Church, and fellow players Paul Giamatti and Sandra Oh were named Best Ensemble of the year.

The Best Actor Award went to awards season favorite Jamie Foxx for his portrayal of Ray Charles in Taylor Hackford's Ray, while Hilary Swank was the Best Actress for her dedicated boxer in Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby.

'The Sea Inside,' 'Fahrenheit 9/11'

Alejandro Amenábar's Spanish box office hit The Sea Inside / Mar adentro, starring Javier Bardem as a tetraplegic man fighting for the right to end his own life, was the Best Foreign Language Film.

The Critics' Choice Awards for Best Director and Best Documentary went to, respectively, Martin Scorsese for his overwrought Howard Hughes biopic The Aviator, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Hughes, and to Fahrenheit 9/11, Michael Moore's indictment of the George W. Bush administration (and the U.S. media) before, during, and after the Iraq War. Fahrenheit 9/11 has become most commercially successful non-fiction film ever made.

See below the full list of Critics' Choice Awards' winners and nominations.

Broadcast Film Critics Association: Critics' Choice Awards' winners and nominees

Best Film
The Aviator.
Collateral.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Finding Neverland.
Hotel Rwanda.
Kinsey.
Million Dollar Baby.
The Phantom of the Opera.
Ray.
* Sideways.

Best Foreign Language Film
The Motorcycle Diaries / Diarios de motocicleta.
A Very Long Engagement / Un long dimanche de fiançailles.
* The Sea Inside / Mar adentro.
Maria Full of Grace.
House of Flying Daggers / Shi mian mai fu.

Best Director
Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby.
Marc Forster, Finding Neverland.
Taylor Hackford, Ray.
Alexander Payne, Sideways.
* Martin Scorsese, The Aviator.

Best Actress
Annette Bening, Being Julia.
Catalina Sandino Moreno, Maria Full of Grace.
Imelda Staunton, Vera Drake.
* Hilary Swank, Million Dollar Baby.
Uma Thurman, Kill Bill: Volume 2.
Kate Winslet, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Best Actor
Javier Bardem, The Sea Inside.
Don Cheadle, Hotel Rwanda.
Johnny Depp, Finding Neverland.
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Aviator.
* Jamie Foxx, Ray.
Paul Giamatti, Sideways.

Best Supporting Actress
Cate Blanchett, The Aviator.
Laura Linney, Kinsey.
* Virginia Madsen, Sideways.
Natalie Portman, Closer.
Kate Winslet, Finding Neverland.

Best Supporting Actor
Jamie Foxx, Collateral.
Morgan Freeman, Million Dollar Baby.
* Thomas Haden Church, Sideways.
Clive Owen, Closer.
Peter Sarsgaard, Kinsey.

Best Acting Ensemble
Closer.
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.
Ocean's Twelve.
* Sideways.

Best Screenplay
Bill Condon, Kinsey.
Charlie Kaufman, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
John Logan, The Aviator.
David Magee, Finding Neverland.
* Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Sideways.

Best Documentary Feature
Control Room.
* Fahrenheit 9/11.
Metallica: Some Kind of Monster.
Super Size Me.

Best Animated Feature
* The Incredibles.
The Polar Express.
Shrek 2.

Best Young Actor
Liam Aiken, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events.
Cameron Bright, Birth.
* Freddie Highmore, Finding Neverland.
Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
William Ullrich, Beyond the Sea.

Best Young Actress
Emily Browning, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events.
Dakota Fanning, Man on Fire.
Lindsay Lohan, Mean Girls.
* Emmy Rossum, The Phantom of the Opera.
Emma Watson, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Best Popular Movie
The Bourne Supremacy.
The Incredibles.
Napoleon Dynamite.
The Passion of the Christ.
* Spider-Man 2.

Best Family Film (Live Action)
* Finding Neverland.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events.
Miracle.
Spider-Man 2.

Best Picture Made for Television
The Five People You Meet in Heaven.
* The Life and Death of Peter Sellers.
Something the Lord Made.
The Wool Cap.

Best Composer
Michael Giacchino, The Incredibles.
Rolfe Kent, Sideways.
* Howard Shore, The Aviator.

Best Song
“Accidentally in Love,” Counting Crows, Shrek 2.
“Believe,” Josh Groban, The Polar Express.
* “Old Habits Die Hard,” Mick Jagger and Dave Stewart, Alfie.

Best Soundtrack
Alfie.
Beyond the Sea.
De-Lovely.
Garden State.
* Ray.

Lifetime Achievement Award
Tom Cruise.

 

Broadcast Film Critics' Critics' Choice Awards website.

Image of Virginia Madsen and Paul Giamatti in Critics' Choice Awards' Best Picture winner Sideways: Fox Searchlight.

Award-Winning Movies: Anti-Bush Documentary + Female Genital Mutilation Drama © 2004–2018 Alt Film Guide and/or author(s).
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