Hoffman, Witherspoon nab top thesp prizes

BOSTON — “Brokeback Mountain” and “Capote” were the biggest winners in the 24th annual balloting of the Boston Society of Film Critics, announced Sunday.

“Brokeback” and director Ang Lee bested “Munich” and director Stephen Spielberg in the picture and director categories.

“Capote” and “Brokeback” went head to head in the actor category, with Philip Seymour Hoffman’s uncanny portrayal of the author edging out Heath Ledger’s taciturn cowboy.

Reese Witherspoon copped actress honors for “Walk the Line,” besting Keira Knightley in “Pride & Prejudice.”

“Capote’s” Catherine Keener landed the supporting actress nod, winning for three of her four films in 2005. (The 20 voting critics cited “Capote,” “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and “The Ballad of Jack & Rose” but pointedly omitted “The Interpreter.”)

Paul Giamatti’s turn as the feisty boxing manager in summer release “Cinderella Man” landed him the supporting actor nod, putting his perf back on the radar for Oscar voters. He won over Oliver Platt of “Casanova” and “The Ice Harvest.”

In the screenplay category, Dan Futterman’s work on “Capote” was lauded over “Munich,” which went home empty-handed.

Documentary nod went to the well-reviewed “Murderball,” about paraplegic rugby players, with “Grizzly Man” the runner-up.

Joe Wright, director of “Pride & Prejudice,” won the David Brudnoy New Filmmaker Award, named for the late Boston film critic and one of the founding members of the organization.

Wright’s win shut out “Crash” helmer Paul Haggis; the ensemble cast award went to “Syriana,” again beating “Crash.”

Cinematography went to Robert Elswit’s stylish black-and-white work in “Good Night, and Good Luck,” with “Brokeback Mountain’s” Rodrigo Prieto as runner-up. Two Asian films slugged it out for the foreign-language film prize, with over-the-top comedy “Kung Fu Hustle” garnering more votes than the atmospheric “2046.”

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