Bring out the '96 Pinot: Alexander Payne and company recieved another bounty of accolades on Monday night, as the Broadcast Film Critics Association named Sideways the Best Picture of the Year at their 2005 Critic's Choice Awards. Sideways was up against no less than nine other films in the Best Picture category, including Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Kinsey, and Ray.
Payne and Sideways screenplay collaborator Jim Taylor shared the Best Writer honor for their adaptation of the eponymous novel by Rex Pickett. Thomas Haden Church also picked up the Best Supporting Actor trophy for his performance in the film as Jack, a washed-up TV star who embarks on a week-long wine-drenched bachelor party with an oenophilic friend (Paul Giamatti). A former co-star of the television show Wings and currently in the midst of a Sideways-propelled career upswing, Haden Church became visibly emotional at the podium, and seemed to stop his own acceptance speech short before the tears could start to flow. Another Sideways costar, Virginia Madsen, was named Best Supporting Actress.
Other winners for the night included Hillary Swank, for her performance in Clint
Eastwood's girl fighter drama Million Dollar Baby, and Jamie Foxx, who was named
Best Actor for his spot-on portrayal of Ray Charles in Taylor Hackford'sRay.
The BFA is considered one of the early harbingers of the Oscar race; their choice for Best Picture has subsequently won the Academy Award for the last five years running. In 2004, all four individual Critic's Choice acting award winners also proved victorious in their respective Oscar races.