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Southeastern film critics association leans "sideways"


The wine-fueled comedy-drama "Sideways" has harvested top honors from the Southeastern Film Critics Association. The road movie in which two old friends argue over wine and women was named Best Picture in the 13th annual SEFCA vote. "Sideways" also won for director Alexander Payne, supporting actor Thomas Haden Church, supporting actress Virginia Madsen and its screenplay, which was adapted by Payne and Jim Taylor from Rex Pickett's novel. Paul Giamatti was runner-up for best actor. Thanks to the five wins by "Sideways," the SEFCA results, announced early Monday morning by president Betsy Pickle of the Knoxville News Sentinel, featured the biggest sweep in the critics' group's history. The previous record was shared by "American Beauty," which won four awards in 1999, and "L.A. Confidential," which earned four in 1997. Jamie Foxx was voted Best Actor for "Ray." Annette Bening of "Being Julia" was chosen Best Actress, with Imelda Staunton of "Vera Drake" as runner-up. "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" won the Best Original Screenplay award for Charlie Kaufman.
"Million Dollar Baby" earned runner-up honors for Morgan Freeman as Best Supporting Actor and Clint Eastwood as Best Director. "Kinsey" was the runner-up in both the Best Supporting Actress (Laura Linney) and Original Screenplay (Bill Condon) categories. David Magee's adapted screenplay for "Finding Neverland" placed second behind "Sideways." SEFCA members chose director Joshua Marston's "Maria Full of Grace" as Best Foreign-Language Film, with Jean-Pierre Jeunet's "A Very Long Engagement" as runner-up. Michael Moore's controversial "Fahrenheit 9/11" was named Best Documentary, with Morgan Spurlock's "Super Size Me" as runner-up. Following No. 1 "Sideways" in the SEFCA Top 10 were 2) "Million Dollar Baby," 3) "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," 4) "Kinsey," 5) "The Incredibles," 6) "Finding Neverland," 7) "Ray," 8) "The Aviator," 9) "Hotel Rwanda" and 10) "Before Sunset." SEFCA, founded in 1992, is made up of film critics working in print, radio and online. Forty-three members representing nine states - Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia - voted on this year's awards. They are: John Beifuss, The Commercial Appeal; Philip Booth, freelance; Jay Boyar, The Orlando Sentinel; Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing; Mark Burger, The Winston-Salem Journal; Harvey Burgess, Charlotte Bureau News Wire Service; Bob Carlton, The Birmingham News; Paul Chambers, CNN Radio/Interactive; Michael Clark, The Gwinnett Daily Post; Jackie K. Cooper, freelance; Hap Erstein, The Palm Beach Post; Jeff Farance, The Daytona Beach News-Journal; Felicia Feaster, Creative Loafing; Rick Grant, Entertaining U; Ken Hanke, The Mountain Xpress; Rick Harmon, The Montgomery Advertiser; Curt Holman, Creative Loafing; Tony Kiss, The Asheville Citizen-Times; Michael Kleinschrodt, The Times-Picayune; Barbara Lester, City Link; Craig Lindsey, The News & Observer; Bret Love, INsite Magazine; Philip Martin, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; George Meyer, The Sarasota Herald-Tribune; Noel Murray, The Onion; Dan Neman, The Richmond Times-Dispatch; Bert Osborne, freelance; Bob Parker, CNN Newssource; Steve Persall, The St. Petersburg Times; Betsy Pickle, The Knoxville News Sentinel; Jim Ridley, Nashville Scene; Rene Rodriguez, The Miami Herald; Bob Ross, The Tampa Tribune; Mercy Sandberg-Wright, freelance; Skip Sheffield, The Boca Raton News; Matt Soergel, The Florida Times-Union; Steve Taylor, freelance; Bill Thompson, The Post and Courier; Larry Toppman, The Charlotte Observer; Mal Vincent, The Virginian-Pilot; Steve Warren, freelance; Stan Washington, The Atlanta Voice; and John Wirt, The Advocate (Baton Rouge).

1. "Sideways"
2. "Million Dollar Baby"
3. "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"
4. "Kinsey"
5. "The Incredibles"
6. "Finding Neverland"
7. "Ray"
8. "The Aviator"
9. "Hotel Rwanda"
10. "Before Sunset"

Winner -- "Maria Full of Grace"
Runner-up -- "A Very Long Engagement"

Winner -- Alexander Payne, "Sideways"
Runner-up -- Clint Eastwood, "Million Dollar Baby"

Winner -- Jamie Foxx, "Ray"
Runner-up -- Paul Giamatti, "Sideways"

Winner -- Annette Bening, "Being Julia"
Runner-up -- Imelda Staunton, "Vera Drake"

Winner -- Thomas Haden Church, "Sideways"
Runner-up -- Morgan Freeman, "Million Dollar Baby"

Winner -- Virginia Madsen, "Sideways"
Runner-up -- Laura Linney, "Kinsey"

Winner -- "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" by Charlie Kaufman Runner-up -- "Kinsey" by Bill Condon

Winner -- "Sideways" by Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor Runner-up -- "Finding Neverland" by David Magee

Winner -- "Fahrenheit 9/11"
Runner-up -- "Super Size Me"


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