''Sideways'' leads broadcast critics' noms. It earns eight nominations, followed by seven for ''Finding Neverland'' and six for ''Aviator,'' from the wealth-spreading critics group

By Gary Susman
Updated December 15, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST
Paul Giamatti, Virginia Madsen, ...

Another day, another round of kudos for Alexander Payne’s Sideways. The wine-country comedy, which dominated the Golden Globes nominations and has been named Best Picture by every critics’ group that has voted so far, also led the field among nominees for the Broadcast Film Critics Association’s Critics’ Choice Awards. It picked up eight nominations, including Best Picture, outpacing Finding Neverland (seven nods), The Aviator (six), and Ray, Million Dollar Baby, and Kinsey (four each). Notable nominees also included Jamie Foxx, nominated for his lead role in Ray and his supporting role in Collateral, and Kate Winslet, also nominated for her lead role in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and her supporting role in Neverland.

In its seven years of granting awards, the BFCA has been very accurate in predicting Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Best Actor and Actress, in part because the BFCA is so generous in spreading the wealth with its nominations. This year, it cited 10 Best Picture nominees, named six performers each for Best Actor and Actress, and included categories for child actors and actresses, ensemble casts, family films, soundtrack compilations, and ”popular” movies (that is, films that audiences and critics liked but which seem otherwise unlikely to win prestigious awards). This year, the Critics’ Choice Awards ceremony moves to network TV for the first time. Eric McCormack returns as host of the live broadcast, which airs on the WB on Jan. 10. A partial list of nominees is below.

Best Picture
The Aviator
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Finding Neverland
Hotel Rwanda
Million Dollar Baby
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera

Best Actor
Javier Bardem, The Sea Inside
Don Cheadle, Hotel Rwanda
Johnny Depp, Finding Neverland
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Aviator
Jamie Foxx, Ray
Paul Giamatti, Sideways

Best Actress
Annette Bening, Being Julia
Catalina Sandino Moreno, Maria Full of Grace
Imelda Staunton, Vera Drake
Hilary Swank, Million Dollar Baby
Uma Thurman, Kill Bill — Vol. 2
Kate Winslet, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Best Supporting Actor
Thomas Haden Church, Sideways
Jamie Foxx, Collateral
Morgan Freeman, Million Dollar Baby
Clive Owen, Closer
Peter Sarsgaard, Kinsey

Best Supporting Actress
Cate Blanchett, The Aviator
Laura Linney, Kinsey
Virginia Madsen, Sideways
Natalie Portman, Closer
Kate Winslet, Finding Neverland

Best Acting Ensemble
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
Ocean’s Twelve

Best Director
Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby
Marc Forster, Finding Neverland
Taylor Hackford, Ray
Alexander Payne, Sideways
Martin Scorsese, The Aviator

Best Writer
Bill Condon, Kinsey
Charlie Kaufman, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
John Logan, The Aviator
David Magee, Finding Neverland
Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Sideways

Best Animated Feature
The Incredibles
The Polar Express
Shrek 2

Best Popular Movie
The Bourne Supremacy
The Incredibles
Napoleon Dynamite
The Passion of the Christ
Spider-Man 2

Best Foreign Language Film
House of Flying Daggers
Maria Full of Grace
The Motorcycle Diaries
The Sea Inside
A Very Long Engagement

Best Song
”Accidentally in Love,” Counting Crows, Shrek 2
”Believe, ” Josh Groban, The Polar Express
”Old Habits Die Hard, ” Mick Jagger and Dave Stewart, Alfie

Best Composer
Michael Giacchino, The Incredibles
Rolfe Kent, Sideways
Howard Shore, The Aviator

Best Documentary Feature
Control Room
Fahrenheit 9/11
Metallica: Some Kind of Monster
Super Size Me