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Boston film critics flip for ‘Sideways’

Foxx beats Giamatti for best actor

BOSTON — The Boston Society of Film Critics just couldn’t get enough of “Sideways.” Alexander Payne’s quirky comedy won four awards, including best film, where it edged out Richard Linklater’s “Before Sunset.”

Annual meeting was tinged with sadness following the death Thursday of founding member David Brudnoy. Radio talkshow host Brudnoy also was a full-time film reviewer for a chain of Boston-area weeklies. This year’s slate was dedicated to his memory, and the new filmmaker award — given to Jonathan Caouette for “Tarnation” — was renamed in his honor.

“Sideways” was cited for ensemble cast, but only one of the quartet won a separate acting kudo, Thomas Haden Church for supporting actor. Payne and Jim Taylor won for screenplay, but Payne lost a multi-ballot battle for director, which went to Zhang Yimou for “House of Flying Daggers.” The Chinese film bested French pic “A Very Long Engagement” in the categories of foreign-language film and cinematography (Xianding Zhao).

Only other multiple winner was “Ray,” where Jamie Foxx beat “Sideways” thesp Paul Giamatti for actor. “Ray’s” Sharon Warren and Laura Dern of “We Don’t Live Here Anymore” shared the supporting actress prize.

Hilary Swank took actress honors for Clint Eastwood’s boxing tearjerker “Million Dollar Baby” over Annette Bening (“Being Julia”) and Kim Basinger (“The Door in the Floor”).

Documentary prize went to Jehane Noujami’s “Control Room,” a look at independent Arab news channel Al-Jazeera.

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