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Dallas crix honor Eastwood’s ‘Baby’

Tex critics bank on Swank

Clint Eastwood’s boxing pic “Million Dollar Baby” has been named best film of 2004 by the Dallas-Forth Worth Critics Assn. in the org’s 11th annual poll.

Pic’s star Hilary Swank drew the actress nod. Critics flipped for the performances in “Sideways,” which drew kudos for Paul Giamatti (actor), Thomas Haden Church (supporting actor) and Virginia Madsen (supporting actress).

Martin Scorsese was voted the director prize for his Howard Hughes biopic “The Aviator.”

Additional nods went to “A Very Long Engagement” (foreign-language film) and “Fahrenheit 9/11” (documentary). “The Incredibles” drew animated film plaudits.

The Russell Smith Award, which recognizes the best low-budget or cutting-edge independent film, went to “Maria Full of Grace.”

Rounding out the critics’ top 10 films of the year were “Sideways,” “Finding Neverland,” “The Aviator,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “Ray,” “Kinsey,” “The Incredibles,” “A Very Long Engagement” and “Hotel Rwanda.”

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The Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Assn. consists of 63 print and broadcast journalists from northern Texas.