Broadcast Critics nominate ''River,'' ''In America.'' Clint Eastwood's drama earns eight nods, followed by the Irish immigrant tale with six

By Gary Susman
Updated December 17, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST

Two movies featuring Irish characters living in tough neighborhoods earned the most notice from the Broadcast Film Critics Association on Wednesday. ”Mystic River,” about a close-knit Boston neighborhood torn apart by violence, earned eight nominations for the BFCA’s Critics’s Choice Awards. ”In America,” director Jim Sheridan’s semi-autobiographical drama of a poor Irish immigrant household in 1980s Manhattan, was close behind with six nods.

”Mystic River,” which has already won Best Picture from the Boston Society of Film Critics and the National Board of Review, earned a BFCA nod for Best Picture, as well as acting citations for Sean Penn, Timm Robbins, Marcia Gay Harden, and the ensemble cast as a whole. Clint Eastwood was nominated both as director and composer of the instrumental score. ”In America” also scored a Best Picture nod. Sheridan (”In the Name of the Father”) scored twice, for Best Director and Best Writer (along with his daughters Kirsten and Naomi. Real-life sisters Emma and Sarah Bolger, who play sisters in the movie, were both nominated for Best Young Actor/Actress.

Another movie shaping up to be a big awards favorite, ”Lost in Translation,” earned five Critics’ Choice nods. ”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” named the year’s top film by the New York Film Critics Circle on Monday, earned four nominations. Both ”Lost” and ”Return” are competing with ”Mystic” and ”In America” for the BFCA Best Picture prize, which has 10 nominees.

Now in its ninth year, the BFCA’s Critics’ Choice Awards will be handed out on Jan. 10. ”Will & Grace”’s Eric McCormack will host the ceremony, which airs live on E! A full list of nominations is below.

Best Picture
”Big Fish”
”Cold Mountain
”Finding Nemo””
”In America”
”The Last Samurai”
”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”
”Lost in Translation”
”Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World”
”Mystic River”

Best Actor
Russell Crowe, ”Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World”
Johnny Depp, ”Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl”
Ben Kingsley, ”House of Sand and Fog”
Bill Murray, ”Lost in Translation”
Sean Penn, ”Mystic River”

Best Actress
Jennifer Connelly, ”House of Sand and Fog”
Diane Keaton, ”Something’s Gotta Give”
Nicole Kidman, ”Cold Mountain”
Samantha Morton, ”In America”
Charlize Theron, ”Monster”
Naomi Watts, ”21 Grams”

Best Supporting Actor
Alec Baldwin, ”The Cooler”
Paul Bettany, ”Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World”
Benicio Del Toro, ”21 Grams”
Tim Robbins, ”Mystic River”
Ken Watanabe, ”The Last Samurai”

Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Clarkson, ”Pieces of April”
Marcia Gay Harden, ”Mystic River”
Holly Hunter, ”Thirteen”
Scarlett Johansson, ”Lost in Translation”
Renée Zellweger, ”Cold Mountain”

Best Acting Ensemble
”A Mighty Wind”
”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”
”Love Actually”
”Mystic River”

Best Director
Tim Burton, ”Big Fish”
Sofia Coppola, ”Lost in Translation”
Clint Eastwood, ”Mystic River”
Peter Jackson, ”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”
Jim Sheridan, ”In America”

Best Writer
Jim Sheridan, Kirsten Sheridan, and Naomi Sheridan, ”In America”
John August, ”Big Fish”
Sofia Coppola, ”Lost in Translation”
Brian Helgeland, ”Mystic River”
Gary Ross, ”Seabiscuit”

Best Young Actor/Actress
Sarah Bolger, ”In America”
Emma Bolger, ”In America”
Keisha Castle-Hughes, ”Whale Rider”
Evan Rachel Wood, ”Thirteen”

Best Animated Feature
”Brother Bear”
”Finding Nemo”
”The Triplets of Belleville”

Best Family Film (live action)
”Freaky Friday”
”Peter Pan”
”Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl”
”Whale Rider”

Best Picture Made for Television
”And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself”
”Angels in America”
”The Reagans”

Best Documentary
”Capturing the Friedmans”
”The Fog of War”
”Ghosts of the Abyss”

Best Foreign-Language Film
”The Barbarian Invasions”
”City of God”
”Swimming Pool”