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Film critics society chooses best film

Associated Press

“Million Dollar Baby,” the story of a woman trying to rise above her hard-knock life by training as a boxer, was voted best film and earned awards for actress Hilary Swank and actor-director Clint Eastwood at the National Society of Film Critics awards Saturday.

Alexander Payne’s male-bonding movie “Sideways,” which swept previous awards by other critics’ groups, came in second in the best picture category.

Swank tied for first place in the best actress category with Imelda Staunton of “Vera Drake,” an abortion drama set in 1950s England. Jamie Foxx was selected best actor for his roles in “Ray,” the biopic of the legendary musician Ray Charles, and “Collateral,” in which he played a cab driver forced to drive around a hitman played by Tom Cruise.

Eastwood won third place for both best actor and best director, which went to Zhang Yimou for “House of the Flying Daggers” and “Hero,” martial arts dramas set in medieval China.

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