Story by: Jack Foley
ALEXANDER Payne's acclaimed comedy, Sideways,
has picked up more critics' awards, to further strengthen its
The Chicago Film Critics' Association (CFCA) named it best film
of 2004 among its four nods, with Paul Giamatti, the film's star,
being named best actor.
While the Southeastern Film Critics also picked it out as best
film, with Payne taking both the best director prize and the best
screenplay, which he shared with co-writer, Jim Taylor.
The film is a delightful road comedy, co-starring Virginia Madsen
and Thomas Haden Church, about two men who head off to California's
wine region for a journey of self-discovery on the week before
one of them is to marry. It marks a terrific follow-up to Payne's
previous effort, About Schmidt.
The Chicago film critics also named
Thomas Haden Church as best supporting actor, and Virginia Madsen
as best supporting actress, although the best director accolade
went to Clint Eastwood, for his boxing drama, Million
Imelda Staunton took the best actress prize for her portrayal
of an abortionist in Mike Leigh's Vera
Drake, thereby strengthening her Oscar chances.
Michael Moore's Fahrenheit
9/11 was named best documentary, while A
Very Long Engagement took best foreign film, and Zach Braff
was named best new director for his sublime directorial debut,
The Chicago critics have yet to set a date for their actual awards
But the success of Sideways follows its triumphs among the New
York and Los Angeles Critics' Circles, not to mention its Golden
Globe nominations haul, at which it leads the field.