K.C. Film Critics Circle issues top honors

Clint Eastwood’s emotional boxing drama “Million Dollar Baby” won Best Film at the 39th annual vote of the Kansas City Film Critics Circle held Sunday.

Comprised of print, television, radio and online critics from the Greater Kansas City area, the 24 voting members (including Jon Niccum of the Lawrence Journal-World and Eric Melin of lawrence.com) cast ballots in 11 categories. Films were eligible if they held advance screenings or opened in the Kansas City area during 2004.

The critics voted the following as the best of 2004:

Best Film: “Million Dollar Baby”

Best Director: Martin Scorsese, “The Aviator”

Best Actor: Jamie Foxx, “Ray”

Best Actress: Hilary Swank, “Million Dollar Baby”

Best Supporting Actor: Thomas Haden Church, “Sideways”

Best Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett, “The Aviator”

Best Original Screenplay: Charlie Kaufman, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”

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Best Adapted Screenplay: Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, “Sideways”

Best Animated Film: “The Incredibles”

Best Foreign Language Film: “A Very Long Engagement” (France)

Best Documentary: “Fahrenheit 9/11”

Runners-up included:

Best Film: “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”; Best Director: Clint Eastwood (“Million Dollar Baby”); Best Actor: Paul Giamatti (“Sideways”); Best Actress: Imelda Staunton (“Vera Drake”); Best Supporting Actor: Morgan Freeman (“Million Dollar Baby”); Best Supporting Actress: Virginia Madsen (“Sideways”); Best Original Screenplay: Bill Condon (“Kinsey”); Best Adapted Screenplay: Paul Haggis (“Million Dollar Baby”); Best Animated Film: “Shrek 2”; Best Foreign Language Film: “The Passion of the Christ”; Best Documentary: “Control Room.”

The first film to win the group’s award for Best Picture was “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” in 1966. The group is the second oldest organization of critics in the United States.