Monday, January 31, 2005

3rd annual Central Ohio Film Critics Association Awards

Since none of the wires have picked up this release, I guess I get to break the news here:

(Columbus, January 25, 2005) Million Dollar Baby, director Clint Eastwood’s acclaimed drama starring Eastwood, Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman, took the top prize in the third annual awards from the Central Ohio Film Critics Association (COFCA). Eastwood’s 25th feature as a director recently took home two Golden Globe Awards and was today nominated for seven Academy Awards.

Alexander Payne won Best Direction for Sideways, the much-heralded midlife crisis comedy starring Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen and Sandra Oh.

Best Lead Performance went to Swank for her portrayal of underdog boxer Maggie Fitzgerald in Million Dollar Baby. Church, winner of dozens of year-end awards, added another to the list for his Supporting Performance in Sideways.

Best Screenplay honors went to Charlie Kaufman for his mind-bending romance, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

The Central Ohio Film Critics Association, comprised of 17 members, was created in 2002 by leading print, broadcast and Internet film critics for the purpose of enriching the Columbus area’s burgeoning film viewing community.

Complete list of awards:

Best Film: Million Dollar Baby
runner up: Sideways/Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (tie)

Best Direction: Alexander Payne, Sideways (runner up: Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby)

Best Lead Performance: Hilary Swank, Million Dollar Baby (runner up: Jamie Foxx, Ray)

Best Supporting Performance: Thomas Haden Church, Sideways (runner up: Clive Owen, Closer)

Actor of the Year (for an exemplary body of work): Cate Blanchett, Coffee & Cigarettes, The Aviator, The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (runner up: Jamie Foxx, Collateral, Ray)

Best Ensemble: the cast of I Heart Huckabees (runner up: the cast of Sideways)

Best Screenplay: Charlie Kaufman, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (runner up: Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor, Sideways)

Best Formal Design (for exceptional visual aesthetic): The Aviator (runner up: Hero)

Best Sound Design (for exceptional aural aesthetic): Kill Bill Vol. 2 (runner up: The Village)

Breakthrough Film Artist: Zach Braff, Garden State; for acting, writing and directing (runner up: Catalina Sandino Moreno, Maria Full of Grace; for acting)

Top Ten Films:

1. Million Dollar Baby
2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
4. The Incredibles
5. The Aviator
Before Sunset
8. Dogville
The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou
Maria Full of Grace

COFCA would like to offer its congratulations to the winners. Voting members include critics from The Columbus Dispatch, Alive, The Other Paper, The Film Journal, WCBE, WAZU, WOSU and WOCC-TV 3.

A complete list of members and their affiliations:

Rick Curnutte, The Film Journal; John DeSando, WCBE; Frank Gabrenya, The Columbus Dispatch; Brian Lindamood, Alive; Joyce Long, WOSU; Rico Long, WOSU; Clay Lowe, WCBE; Hope Madden, The Other Paper; Daidria Curnutte, The Film Journal; Paul Markoff, WOCC-TV 3; Caleb Mozzocco, Alive; Mark Pfeiffer, WOCC-TV 3; Dave Redelberger, WAZU; Melissa Starker, Alive; Peter Tonguette, The Film Journal; Jordan Gentile, The Other Paper; Colin Mack, BUCKITV

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