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"Million Dollar Baby' takes film critics' award

Million Dollar Baby, the story of a woman trying to rise above her hard-knocks life by training as a boxer, was voted best film and earned an award for actor Hilary Swank at the National Society of Film Critics awards Saturday.

The group of 56 newspaper and magazine film critics held its awards ceremony in Manhattan.

Swank was tied for first place in the best actress category with Imelda Staunton of Vera Drake, the abortion drama set in 1950s England.

Jamie Foxx was selected best actor for his roles in Ray, the biopic of the legendary musician Ray Charles, and Collateral, in which he played a cab driver forced to drive around a hitman.

Zhang Yimou received best director for House of the Flying Daggers and Hero, martial arts dramas set in medieval China.

Ousmane Sembene won the award for best foreign language film as director of Moolaade, the story of six girls who escape from an African ceremony of female circumcision.

Sideways' Thomas Haden Church and Virginia Madsen won best supporting actor and actress.