L.A. Film Critics Toast "Sideways" With 5 Prizes
by Eugene Hernandez
In the first of many critics groups picks for the best movies of the year, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA) weighed in with its choices for the best films of 2004, naming Alexander Payne's "Sideways" the top movie. Payne's film received a total of 5 nods from the organization, with Clint Eastwood's "Million Dollar Baby" coming in as the runner-up for best film honors.
Alexander Payne was named best director by a group of 36 Los Angeles film critics, with the script by Payne and regular collaborator Jim Taylor recognized as the best screenplay. Two performances from the Fox Searchlight release were recognized, Virginia Madsen as best supporting actress and Thomas Hayden Church as best supporting actor.
"Maria Full of Grace" from HBO Films and Fine Line was honored with the New Generation prize, recognizing both writer/director Joshua Marston and actress Catalina Sandino Moreno.
In the foreign language category, Zhang Yimou's "House of Flying Daggers" from Sony Pictures Classics was recognized, while THINKFilm's "Born Into Brothels," by Zana Briski and Ross Kauffman, won the award in the documentary/non-fiction film category.
LAFCA will present its awards at a ceremony on January 13th in Los Angeles. Today, critics in New York will unveil their choices for the best of 2004.
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A complete list of LAFCA winners, and runners-up, follows:
Runner-up: "Million Dollar Baby"
DIRECTOR: Alexander Payne, "Sideways"
Runner-up: Martin Scorsese, "The Aviator"
ACTRESS: Imelda Staunton, "Vera Drake"
Runner-up: Julie Delpy, "Before Sunset"
ACTOR: Liam Neeson, "Kinsey"
Runner-up: Paul Giamatti, "Sideways"
SCREENPLAY: "Sideways," by Alexander Payne and Jim
Runner-up: "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," by Charlie
SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Virginia Madsen, "Sideways"
Runner-up: Cate Blanchett, "The Aviator" and "Coffee &
SUPPORTING ACTOR: Thomas Haden Church, "Sideways"
Runner-up: Morgan Freeman, "Million Dollar Baby"
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: "House of Flying Daggers," directed by
Runner-up: "The Motorcycle Diaries," directed by Walter
DOCUMENTARY/NON-FICTION FILM: "Born into Brothels," written and
directed by Ross Kauffman and Zana Briski
Runner-up: "Fahrenheit 9/11," directed by Michael Moore
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Dante Ferretti, "The Aviator"
Runner-up: Huo Tingxiao, "House of Flying Daggers"
MUSIC/SCORE: Michael Giacchino, "The Incredibles"
Runner-up: Alexandre Desplat, "Birth"
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Dion Beebe and Paul Cameron,
Runner-up: Xiaoding Zhao, "House of Flying Daggers"
ANIMATION: Brad Bird, "The Incredibles"
THE DOUGLAS EDWARDS EXPERIMENTAL / INDEPENDENT FILM/VIDEO AWARD:
"Star-Spangled to Death" by Ken Jacobs
NEW GENERATION: Joshua Marston, writer/director, "Maria Full of
Grace" and Catalina Sandino Moreno, actress, "Maria Full of
CAREER ACHIEVEMENT: Jerry Lewis
SPECIAL CITATION: Brian Jamieson of Warner Brothers and
Richard Schickel for the reconstruction of Samuel Fuller's
"The Big Red One"