‘Beauty’ is BFCA pick for best pic

Crowe, Swank receive acting nods

Still beaming from their overnight Golden Globes success, “American Beauty” filmmakers received best picture kudos Monday from the Broadcast Film Critics Assn.

DreamWorks’ “Beauty” beat out nominees “Being John Malkovich,” “The Cider House Rules,” “The Green Mile,” “The Insider,” “Magnolia,” “Man on the Moon,” “The Sixth Sense,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley” and “Three Kings.”

Previously announced BFCA awards for “Beauty,” all celebrated during the afternoon’s luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel, included best screenplay for Alan Ball and best director for Sam Mendes — both repeating their Sunday Golden Globe-winning perfs in the same categories.

Accepting the prize on the film’s behalf, “Beauty” producer Dan Jinks said, “We are going to be in our 80s, still thanking Alan for writing the screenplay, and be into our next lifetimes thanking Sam. Also, thank you DreamWorks for allowing us to make the movie we wanted to make.”

Upon receiving his BFCA screenplay award, tyro feature film scribe Ball told the crowd that he felt “like the luckiest guy alive.” One thing that he learned from his debut was “to always go for the passion, try to write movies that I’d like to go and see.”

“Beauty” helmer Mendes said he had no confidence in his work until the BFCA critics told him so. “The first time I realized the movie was getting an enthusiastic reaction was when all you guys started interviewing us,” Mendes said. “That was the first time I thought this film might take off and it has.”

Other winners, all previously announced, were Russell Crowe as best actor for “The Insider”; Hilary Swank, best actress, “Boys Don’t Cry”; Michael Clarke Duncan, best supporting actor “The Green Mile”; Angelina Jolie, best supporting actress, “Girl, Interrupted”; and Steven Spielberg, best filmmaker of the decade.

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