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58th Annual Golden Globe Awards
'Gladiator,' 'Traffic' lead Golden Globe nominees
(CNN) -- Drugs and togas led the pack in Golden Globe Award nominations Thursday as "Traffic," about the drug war in the United States, and the period drama "Gladiator" each received five nominations.
The annual awards show honors outstanding performances in both film and television. Actors Kelsey Grammer, Lara Flynn Boyle and Christine Lahti announced the nominees, selected by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, in a brief ceremony that began about 8:15 a.m. EST.
Winners will be named January 21 at the 58th annual ceremony.
"It is always a joy to be nominated," said Grammer, the "Frasier" star who got a nod for best actor in a comedy. "There's no question about it, and it is always disappointing when you are not."
The press association named nominees in 24 categories -- 13 for film, 11 for TV -- and they are divided into two sets: dramatic movies, and musicals or comedies.
Golden Globe = Oscar?
The Golden Globe nominations often serve as indicators for how movies will fare when Oscar nominees are announced in February.
"The Golden Globe is a genuine crystal ball for the Oscars," said Thomas O'Neil, author of "Movie Awards," a book examining film honors that is due out in January.
In the ceremony's 57-year history, one of the two best-picture winners (dramas and musical/comedies) at the Golden Globes has taken the same honor at the Oscars 41 times.
The 1999 Golden Globes correctly predicted Oscar wins for "American Beauty" and director Sam Mendes; best actress for "Boys Don't Cry" star Hilary Swank; and best supporting actress for Angelina Jolie for "Girl, Interrupted."
If the Golden Globes are an indication of future Oscars nods, things are looking bright for director Steven Soderbergh. He received two best-director nominations, for "Traffic" and "Erin Brockovich."
The Soderbergh films received a slew of nominations, in addition to the best-director nods. "Erin Brockovich" snagged best film, best actress for Julia Roberts and best supporting actor for Albert Finney. "Traffic" received nominations for best supporting actress for Catherine Zeta-Jones, best supporting actor for Benicio Del Toro, and best screenplay.
The best dramatic film category was a mix of blockbusters and small art films. In addition to "Traffic" and "Erin Brockovich," the nominees included "Billy Elliot," about the boy who loved ballet more than boxing; "Wonder Boys," starring Zeta-Jones' new husband, Michael Douglas; the box-office hit "Gladiator;" and "Sunshine," the account of three generations of a Hungarian family, starring Ralph Fiennes.
Chocolate, chickens and canines ruled in the best film category for a musical or comedy. Nominees included "Best in Show," Christopher Guest's dog-show comedy; the claymation feature "Chicken Run;" "Almost Famous," Cameron Crowe's homage to the 1970s rock world; "Chocolat," a film whose title gets to the sweet heart of its plot; and the Coen brothers' "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"
Small films get big attention
Some smaller films received several nominations, boosting their chances at the Oscars and perhaps attracting mainstream audiences.
Kenneth Lonergan's "You Can Count on Me," a film about sibling rivalry and the family ties that bind, snagged two nods: best screenplay and best dramatic actress for Laura Linney.
"I hope it gets more people in to see the movie," Linney said. "For those who worked so hard and care about it so much, that's really the most important thing."
The little-seen "Wonder Boys" took in three nominations: best actor for Michael Douglas, best song for Bob Dylan's "Things Have Changed," and best screenplay.
The attention was gratifying, considering the movie failed at the box office when it came out in February, "Wonder Boys" director Curtis Hanson said. The film returned to theaters this fall to help boost its awards prospects.
"It got a lot of people talking about it again," Hanson said.
How will "Boys" do come Oscars time? Hanson laughed. "One step at a time," he replied. "One step at a time."
Other smaller films receiving nominations include "Dancer in the Dark," "Requiem for a Dream," "Before Night Falls," "Billy Elliot," and "Quills."
Geoffrey Rush, who received a best actor nod for playing the Marquis de Sade in "Quills," was home in Melbourne, Australia, cooking a late-night snack of sage-and-onion stuffing when he learned of his nomination.
"It was a very domestic, homespun scene," Rush joked. "My family is in bed, and that's where I'll be going soon -- tired, but happy."
NBC leads in TV nominations
NBC garnered 15 nominees, followed by HBO with 12, then CBS, Fox and Showtime with seven each.
Among the notable nominees for a TV performance was Robert Downey Jr. for best supporting actor on "Ally McBeal." The nod was bittersweet; the role was Downey's first since his August release from prison on drug charges, but he has been arrested for drugs again since then.
Calista Flockhart, who plays Downey's love interest in "Ally McBeal," received a best actress nomination. The Fox show was nominated for best TV comedy series, alongside "Frasier," "Malcolm in the Middle," "Sex and the City" and "Will & Grace."
Nominees for best dramatic TV series included the usual suspects, powerhouse shows such as "ER" and "The Sopranos," but also in the mix was the rookie CBS drama "CSI."
A month will pass before the winners are revealed, but for some people, the nomination alone was icing on the cake. For Lahti, who was nominated for best actress in a TV miniseries or film for "An American Daughter," the recognition felt like a party.
"It's like a birthday," she said.
Los Angeles critics honor 'Crouching Tiger'
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