LATEST: Wine-drinking comedy SIDEWAYS has come from nowhere to become a leading Oscars contender after picking up a string of film awards at the weekend.

As well as winning the Los Angeles Film Critics Association's Best Picture honour and picking up seven GOLDEN GLOBE AWARD nominations, the film was also honoured by the NEW YORK FILM CRITICS ONLINE, NEW YORK FILM CRITICS CIRCLE and the Boston SOCIETY OF FILM CRITICS as the awards season got into full swing.

The film, starring Paul Giamatti and THOMAS HAYDEN-CHURCH, was also named one of the AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE's top 10 movies of 2004, along with Spider-Man 2 and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Meanwhile, in the first of the season's Best Actor and Actress prizegivings, Liam Neeson, Imelda Staunton and Hilary Swank were big winners for their roles in KINSEY, Vera Drake and Million Dollar Baby respectively. RAY star Jamie Foxx also continued his run of good luck with another two honours.

British actress Staunton claimed Best Actress honours in Los Angeles and at both New York gatherings, while Swank was victorious in Boston, Massachusetts.

Neeson was awarded Best Actor in Los Angeles and Foxx won the honour in Boston and from the New York Film Critics Online. Giamatti took first place in the New York Film Critics Circle honours.

13/12/2004 21:08