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Last Updated: Sunday, 9 January, 2005, 14:49 GMT
Eastwood's 'Baby' named best film
Clint Eastwood and Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby
Eastwood directs and stars with Hilary Swank
Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby has been named the best film of 2004 by a group of leading US film critics.

Other top honours for the boxing drama went to its star Hilary Swank, who won the best actress title along with Imelda Staunton for Vera Drake.

Comedy Sideways won three top honours, including best supporting actor and actress for Thomas Haden Church and Virginia Madsen, and best screenplay.

The National Society of Film Critics works for US papers and magazines.

In other categories, the critics named Senegal's Moolaade from director Ousmane Sembene as the year's best foreign language movie.

Chinese director Zhang Yimou was named best director for his martial arts film, House of Flying Daggers.

Jamie Foxx was named best actor for playing two roles, that of soul singing legend Ray Charles in biopic Ray, and a taxi driver who is held hostage by a contract killer in Collateral.

In the run-up to the Academy Awards, Million Dollar Baby has shared some critics' awards with Sideways and romance Finding Neverland.

Still to come before the Oscars are the Golden Globe Awards, Screen Actors Guild awards and other competitions, where Martin Scorsese's Howard Hughes biopic The Aviator is expected to do well.


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