LOS ANGELES – He claims to have written a million thank-you speeches, and even performed them in front of a mirror, so now Jamie Foxx is ready to accept future awards for his acclaimed work in "Ray" after being chosen best actor at the 10th annual Critics' Choice Awards (search).
Hilary Swank captured the best actress award for her role as a boxer in Clint Eastwood's "Million Dollar Baby," while "Sideways" (search) claimed a leading five awards, including best film. Martin Scorsese beat out Eastwood for best director honors for "The Aviator," his take on the young Howard Hughes that stars Leonardo DiCaprio as the eccentric billionaire.
"Everybody on the street, from the hood to the White House, wanted this film to win," Foxx said of "Ray," in which he portrayed R&B legend Ray Charles.
And while many actors will tell you they pay no attention to what the critics think of their work, Foxx said that's not true — at least not for him.
"Whenever you do a film you're always thinking in the back of your head, 'What are the critics gonna say?'" he acknowledged. "You really do want to know why they didn't like it, or you're glad if they did like it."
Swank lavished praise on Eastwood for her success, saying the Oscar-winning director "helped me become a better actor and a better human being."
"I'll take blows all the time to work with him," Swank said. "This is a man that stands in a line behind 50 people waiting for his lunch like everyone else."
Virginia Madsen received a plethora of congrats at the show, and one in particular came to her as a surprise.
"Someone tonight congratulated me on my pregnancy," she said.
No need to worry, the "Sideways" star wasn't carrying anything except the supporting actress award for her work in that film.
Tom Cruise was the inaugural recipient of the Distinguished Career Achievement in Performing Arts Award. His career, he said, has been a labor of love.
"I never did it for money. I did it because I loved it and I've always loved it," the three-time Oscar nominee said.
Cruise also congratulated Foxx, his co-star in "Collateral."
"He's enormously talented," said Cruise. "As an actor, when you work with someone that makes great choices in a scene, it takes you out of character, and you think, 'Wow, that was beautiful.' I'm just so happy for him."
Like Foxx, it was also a first time Critics' Choice Award for teenage actress Emmy Rossum, who snagged the best young actress trophy for her role in "The Phantom of the Opera."
"I have never seen the show so I wasn't colored by the theatricality," said Rossum. "I took my idea of her as a very real, vulnerable loving and compassionate girl and played it from my heart."
The awards ceremony, sponsored by the Broadcast Film Critics Association, took place at the Wiltern Theatre. The host was "Will and Grace's" Eric McCormack.
Following is a complete list of winners:
Actor: Jamie Foxx, "Ray."
Actress: Hilary Swank, "Million Dollar Baby."
Supporting Actor: Thomas Haden Church, "Sideways."
Supporting Actress: Virginia Madsen, "Sideways."
Acting Ensemble: "Sideways."
Director: Martin Scorsese, "The Aviator."
Writer: Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, "Sideways."
Young Actor: Freddie Highmore, "Finding Neverland."
Young Actress: Emmy Rossum, "The Phantom of the Opera."
Family Film (live action): "Finding Neverland."
Picture Made for Television: "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers."
Popular Movie: "Spider-Man 2."
Documentary Feature: "Fahrenheit 9/11."
Foreign Language Film: "The Sea Inside."
Composer: Howard Shore, "The Aviator."