January 11, 2005 08:00 AM

Sideways is fast becoming the Desperate Housewives of the big screen – there’s just no way to stop it.

Monday, the quirky road comedy picked up five more awards, at the 10th annual Critics’ Choice Awards, including best picture.

The Los Angeles and New York film critics have already named it best picture, it’s up for seven Golden Globes on Sunday night, including best musical or comedy film, and it’s expected to score heavily once the nominations are announced for the Screen Actors Guild Awards (due Tuesday morning) and the Oscars (Jan. 25).

The last five best-picture picks at the Critics’ Choice awards – decided by the 194 members of Broadcast Film Critics Association – went on to win Best Picture Academy Awards, as have eight of the last nine directors, which spells good news for Monday night’s winner, Martin Scorsese (for The Aviator).

As it is, the accomplished director (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, GoodFellas) has always been an Oscar bridesmaid, never a bride. This year, Scorsese could finally get his Oscar.

Last year’s four main Critics’ Choice Awards acting winners also swept the Oscars. Sideways won for supporting actor Thomas Haden Church and supporting actress Virginia Madsen, acting ensemble and writer, Alexander Payne (who also directed the film), Reuters reports.

Asked backstage about his Oscar chances, Payne, who is married to Sideways costar Sandra Oh, replied: “You’re assuming that I sit around caring about winning the Oscar.”

Ray star Jamie Foxx, who is widely considered to have a lock on the Oscar, was named best actor. Hilary Swank, who won an Oscar five years ago for Boys Don’t Cry, was named best actress for her role in Clint Eastwood’s fighting drama Million Dollar Baby, which was the best picture choice of the National Society of Film Critics – and could still give Sideways serious competition when Oscar night rolls around Feb. 27.

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