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'Chicago' grabs 8 Golden Globe nominations

"Chicago," starring Richard Gere and Catherine Zeta-Jones, received the most Golden Globe nominations of any movie this year.

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Noah Wyle and other stars announce the Golden Globe nominations. (December 19)
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(CNN) -- The musical "Chicago" danced away with eight Golden Globe nominations Thursday -- more than any other movie -- including one for best musical or comedy film and acting nods for stars Richard Gere, Renee Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones for their lead roles.

"The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" and "Gangs of New York" -- two movies going head-to-head at the box office this week -- are also up against each other for top honors.

The "Rings" sequel and "Gangs" were nominated for best motion picture drama in the early morning ceremony in Beverly Hills, California.

Also getting nods in that field: "About Schmidt," which has been tapped by several film critic associations as best picture; the Holocaust drama "The Pianist"; and "The Hours," a film about Virginia Woolf and two women affected by her writing. The movie also received best actress in a drama nominations for Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep.

All the movies in the best drama category except "The Pianist" also received nominations for their directors -- Stephen Daldry ("The Hours"), Peter Jackson (the "Rings" sequel), Alexander Payne ("About Schmidt") and Martin Scorsese ("Gangs of New York"). Rob Marshall ("Chicago") and Spike Jonze ("Adaptation") rounded out the field.

The sleeper hit "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" earned a nomination for best musical or comedy picture, and its star Nia Vardalos got a nod for best actress in a musical or comedy.

Hugh Grant's summer flick, "About a Boy," was recognized in the best musical or comedy film and actor categories, as was "Adaptation" and its star Nicolas Cage for his roles as twin brothers.

In the best actor/drama category, Daniel Day-Lewis ("Gangs of New York") will compete against Leonardo DiCaprio ("Catch Me If You Can"), Jack Nicholson ("About Schmidt"), Michael Caine ('The Quiet American") and Adrien Brody ("The Pianist").

John Corbett and Nia Vardalos starred in the surprise hit "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," which was nominated for best musical or comedy.

In addition to Streep and Kidman, Salma Hayek ("Frida), Diane Lane ("Unfaithful") and Julianne Moore ("Far From Heaven") were nominated for best actress in a drama.

The Golden Globes began in 1944, when the journalists of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association gathered informally to recognize Tinseltown's best offerings of the year.

Over the decades, the tradition evolved into an awards ceremony considered to be a strong predictor of the Academy Awards. Eight of the last 12 films that have won the Golden Globe for best drama also went on to win the best picture Oscar.

But unlike the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes also honor television shows and stars.

The foreign press group has a reputation for recognizing newcomers, but this year's nominations looked familiar. NBC's "The West Wing" and HBO's "Sex in the City" got nominations in acting and best drama and musical/comedy categories, respectively, as did perennial favorite and NBC sitcom "Friends" for top musical or comedy series.

Fox's "24," recently selected by TV Guide as the best show of 2002 (full story), received a nod for best TV drama series and nominations for cast members Kiefer Sutherland and Dennis Haysbert in best actor in a drama and best supporting actor categories, respectively.

The awards will be handed out January 19 during a live telecast on NBC.

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