Sideways won four awards and was named best picture of 2004 bythe New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC) today (13), with best director goingto Clint Eastwood for Million Dollar Baby, best actor going to Paul Giamatti for Sideways and best actress going to Imelda Staunton for VeraDrake.
The 33-strong NYFCC selectedMichael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 asthe year's best non-fiction film, while Pedro Almodovar's Bad Education was named best foreign language film.
Animation honours went to TheIncredibles, written and directed byBrad Bird, and Joshua Marston's Maria Full Of Grace won the best first film award.
The best supporting actortrophy went to Clive Owen for Closerwhile Virginia Madsen was named best supporting actress for Sideways.
Alexander Payne and JimTaylor won the best screenplay award for Sideways and cinematography honours went to Christopher Doylefor Hero.
A special award was given toMilestone Films in honour of 15 years of restoring classic films.
"Clearly the New York FilmCritics Circle went Sideways thisyear giving the brilliant dark comedy four awards," NYFCC chairman and USWeekly critic Thelma Adams said.
"We are so happy to finallygive Paul Giamatti the recognition he deserves, but this wasn't a one-horserace. We recognised the achievement of the great director and actor ClintEastwood, Pedro Almodovar's Bad Education, the stirring first film Maria Full Of Grace, and Imelda Staunton's shattering performance as thetitle character in Vera Drake."
The group will hand out the honoursat its awards dinner on Jan 9 in New York City.