The Oscar race is on, folks!

‘Brokeback’ nabs 7 Golden Globe noms
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif (AP) – The gay cowboy romance Brokeback Mountain positioned itself as a key Oscar competitor Tuesday, roping in seven Golden Globe nominations, including best dramatic picture and honours for actor Heath Ledger and director Ang Lee.
Other best drama picture contenders were the murder thriller The Constant Gardener, the Edward R. Murrow tale Good Night, and Good Luck, the mobster story A History of Violence and Match Point, a drama about infidelity.
The Globes were a triumph for smaller budgeted films over big studio productions.
“This is the first time in the history of the Golden Globes that all of the best (dramatic) film nominees are independent movies made for under $30 million,” said Philip Berk, president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which presents the awards.
The Globes have a separate category for musical or comedy films. Nominated were the theatre tale Mrs. Henderson Presents, the Jane Austen costume pageant Pride & Prejudice, the Broadway musical The Producers, the divorce story The Squid and the Whale, and the Johnny Cash film biography Walk the Line.
The Globes were the latest recognition for Brokeback Mountain, a critical darling that has received top honours from critics groups in New York City, Los Angeles and Boston.
Still, the film has an uphill trail to the Oscars, whose voters may hesitate to anoint a gay-themed movie as its champion.
“It’s going to be a front-runner, but it really has a mountain to climb, because never have we seen a gay romance in the best-picture race before,” said Tom O’Neil, who runs, an awards website.
Movies with gay angles have earned acting honours, Tom Hanks winning for Philadelphia and Hilary Swank for Boys Don’t Cry, but those movies did not break into the best-picture pack.
Yet Brokeback Mountain has proved a favourite at film festivals and debuted with huge box-office grosses last weekend, taking in almost $550,000 in just five theatres. The movie goes into wider release over the next few weeks, its backers hoping it will find a broad audience despite the subject matter.
“Clearly, we felt that because the film speaks a very universal emotional language; it’s going to surprise people, when it comes out, how accessible it is,” said James Schamus, a producer on Brokeback Mountain and co-president of Focus Features, the NBC Universal banner that released the film.
Best dramatic actor nominee Ledger plays a husband concealing a homosexual affair with an old sheep herding buddy from his family. Other nominees included three actors playing real-life figures: Russell Crowe as Depression-era boxer Jim Braddock in Cinderella Man, Philip Seymour Hoffman as author Truman Capote in Capote, and David Strathairn as newsman Murrow in Good Night, and Good Luck. The fifth nominee was Terrence Howard as a small-time pimp-turned-rap singer in Hustle & Flow.
Good Night, and Good Luck was tied for second-most film nominations with four, along with Match Point and The Producers. The Murrow tale earned a best-director nomination for George Clooney, who also had a supporting actor movie nomination for the oil industry thriller Syriana.
Felicity Huffman received two nominations – best dramatic actress in a film for her role as a man preparing for sex-change surgery in Transamerica and best actress in a TV musical or comedy for Desperate Housewives. Her Desperate Housewives co-stars Marcia Cross, Teri Hatcher and Eva Longoria also were nominated, and the ABC show earned a best TV comedy bid.
ABC also scored three nominations for best dramatic TV series: Commander in Chief, Grey’s Anatomy and Lost. Bids also went to Fox’s Prison Break and HBO’s Rome. Other nominees for best comedy or musical TV series were HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm and Entourage, UPN’s Everybody Hates Chris, NBC’s My Name is Earl and Showtime’s Weeds.
Other best dramatic film actress nominees were Maria Bello as a wife learning painful secrets about her husband in A History of Violence, Gwyneth Paltrow as an unstable math genius’s daughter in Proof, Charlize Theron as a woman leading a sexual harassment lawsuit in North Country and Ziyi Zhang as a poor girl who becomes the belle of Japan’s geisha houses in Memoirs of a Geisha.
Based on a short story by Annie Proulx, Brokeback Mountain grabbed a supporting actress nomination for Michelle Williams as Ledger’s wife, who chooses to ignore his affair with a man (Jake Gyllenhaal) to hold her family together. The movie also scored a directing nomination for Lee and received nominations for best screenplay, score and song.
For best actor in a movie, musical or comedy, Globe voters nominated Pierce Brosnan as a burned-out hit man in The Matador, Jeff Daniels as a husband unglued by divorce in The Squid and the Whale, Johnny Depp as candyman Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Nathan Lane as a Broadway con man in The Producers, Cillian Murphy as a cross-dressing Irishman in Breakfast on Pluto, and Joaquin Phoenix as country legend Cash in Walk the Line.
Best musical or comedy film actress nominees: Judi Dench as a 1930s British dame who opens a nude theatrical review in Mrs. Henderson Presents, Keira Knightley as the romantic heroine in Pride & Prejudice, Laura Linney as a divorcing wife in The Squid and the Whale, Sarah Jessica Parker as a woman hated by her fiance’s relatives in The Family Stone, and Reese Witherspoon as country singer June Carter in Walk the Line.
Besides Lee and Clooney, the directing contenders were Woody Allen for Match Point, Peter Jackson for King Kong, Fernando Meirelles for The Constant Gardener, and Steven Spielberg for Munich.
In addition to Clooney, supporting movie actor nominees were Matt Dillon for Crash, Will Ferrell for The Producers, Paul Giamatti for Cinderella Man, and Bob Hoskins for Mrs. Henderson Presents.
Playing a bigoted cop who dotes on his sickly dad, Dillon was the lone acting nominee from an ensemble of great performances in Crash, which interweaves multiple story lines on a single tension-filled day in Los Angeles.
“It was honest and truthful to what I believed was an L.A. cop, not typical of what every cop is,” Dillon said. “It went and explored these two extremes … bitter racist cop and really loving son who cares about his sick father. These are the complicated things we see in life.”
Supporting actress nominees: Scarlett Johansson for Match Point, Shirley MacLaine for In Her Shoes, Frances McDormand for North Country, Rachel Weisz for The Constant Gardener, and Williams for Brokeback Mountain.
Two years ago, the Golden Globes correctly predicted Oscar winners in all key categories, including best-picture champ The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
But a year ago, the Globes missed the mark, picking The Aviator as best picture, an honour that went to Million Dollar Baby at the Oscars.
Winners of the Golden Globes will be announced Jan. 16, five days before polls close for Oscar voters. Oscar nominations come out Jan. 31, and the awards will be presented March 5.
Here is the list of nominees for 63rd annual Golden Globe Awards
Motion picture and television nominees for the 63rd annual Golden Globe Awards announced Tuesday in Beverly Hills, Calif:
Picture, Drama: Brokeback Mountain, The Constant Gardener, Good Night, and Good Luck, A History of Violence, Match Point.
Actress, Drama: Maria Bello, A History of Violence; Felicity Huffman, Transamerica; Gwyneth Paltrow, Proof; Charlize Theron, North Country; Ziyi Zhang, Memoirs of a Geisha.
Actor, Drama: Russell Crowe, Cinderella Man; Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote; Terrence Howard, Hustle & Flow; Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain; David Strathairn, Good Night, and Good Luck.
Picture, Musical or Comedy: Mrs. Henderson Presents, Pride & Prejudice, The Producers, The Squid and the Whale, Walk the Line.
Actress, Musical or Comedy: Judi Dench, Mrs. Henderson Presents; Keira Knightley, Pride & Prejudice; Laura Linney, The Squid and the Whale; Sarah Jessica Parker, The Family Stone; Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line.
Actor, Musical or Comedy: Pierce Brosnan, The Matador; Jeff Daniels, The Squid and the Whale; Johnny Depp, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Nathan Lane, The Producers; Cillian Murphy, Breakfast on Pluto; Joaquin Phoenix, Walk the Line.
Supporting Actress: Scarlett Johansson, Match Point; Shirley MacLaine, In Her Shoes; Frances McDormand, North Country; Rachel Weisz, The Constant Gardener; Michelle Williams, Brokeback Mountain.
Supporting Actor: George Clooney, Syriana; Matt Dillon, Crash; Will Ferrell, The Producers; Paul Giamatti, Cinderella Man; Bob Hoskins, Mrs. Henderson Presents.
Director: Woody Allen, Match Point; George Clooney, Good Night, and Good Luck; Peter Jackson, King Kong; Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain; Fernando Meirelles, The Constant Gardener; Steven Spielberg, Munich.
Screenplay: Woody Allen, Match Point; George Clooney and Grant Heslov, Good Night, and Good Luck; Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco, Crash; Tony Kushner and Eric Roth, Munich; Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, Brokeback Mountain.
Foreign Language: Kung Fu Hustle, China; Master of the Crimson Armor aka The Promise, China; Merry Christmas (Joyeux Noel), France; Paradise Now, Palestine; Tsotsi, South Africa.
Original Score: Alexandre Desplat, Syriana; James Newton Howard, King Kong; Gustavo Santaolalla, Brokeback Mountain; Harry Gregson-Williams, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; John Williams, Memoirs of a Geisha;
Original Song: A Love That Will Never Grow Old from Brokeback Mountain; Christmas in Love from Christmas in Love; There’s Nothing Like a Show on Broadway from The Producers; Travelin’ Thru from Transamerica; Wunderkind from The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
Series, Drama: Commander in Chief, ABC; Grey’s Anatomy, ABC; Lost, ABC; Prison Break, Fox; Rome, HBO.
Actress, Drama: Patricia Arquette, Medium; Glenn Close, The Shield; Geena Davis, Commander in Chief; Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer; Polly Walker, Rome.
Actor, Drama: Patrick Dempsey, Grey’s Anatomy; Matthew Fox, Lost; Hugh Laurie, House; Wentworth Miller, Prison Break; Kiefer Sutherland, 24.
Series, Musical or Comedy: Curb Your Enthusiasm, HBO; Desperate Housewives, ABC; Entourage, HBO; Everybody Hates Chris, UPN; My Name is Earl, NBC; Weeds, Showtime.
Actress, Musical or Comedy: Marcia Cross, Desperate Housewives; Teri Hatcher, Desperate Housewives; Felicity Huffman, Desperate Housewives; Eva Longoria, Desperate Housewives; Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds.
Actor, Musical or Comedy: Zach Braff, Scrubs; Steve Carell, The Office; Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm; Jason Lee, My Name is Earl; Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men.
Miniseries or movie: Empire Falls, HBO; Into the West, TNT; Lackawanna Blues, HBO; Sleeper Cell, Showtime; Viva Blackpool, BBC America; Warm Springs, HBO.
Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Halle Berry, Their Eyes Were Watching God; Kelly MacDonald, The Girl in the Cafe; S. Epatha Merkerson, Lackawanna Blues; Cynthia Nixon, Warm Springs; Mira Sorvino, Human Trafficking.
Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Kenneth Branagh, Warm Springs; Ed Harris, Empire Falls; Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Elvis; Bill Nighy, The Girl in the Cafe; Donald Sutherland, Human Trafficking.
Supporting Actress, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Candice Bergen, Boston Legal; Camryn Manheim, Elvis; Sandra Oh, Grey’s Anatomy; Elizabeth Perkins, Weeds; Joanne Woodward, Empire Falls.
Supporting Actor, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Naveen Andrews, Lost; Paul Newman, Empire Falls; Jeremy Piven, Entourage; Randy Quaid, Elvis; Donald Sutherland, Commander in Chief.