Tuner takes three, 'Hours' top drama

See winnerIt was Ladies’ Night at the 60th annual Golden Globes as “Chicago” and “The Hours” — films centering on women who are respectively murderous and suicidal — took top honors as musical/comedy and drama.

“Chicago” was the evening’s top winner with three awards, also including lead actor Richard Gere and actress Renee Zellweger in the musical-comedy category. “Hours” won two, also including lead actress in a drama, Nicole Kidman.

The event, held Sunday night at the Beverly Hilton, helps build suspense in the Oscar race, since the awards were so widespread: seven pics were rewarded in the 13 film races. In all, four pics took home two nods and two films earned one apiece.

Miramax was the big winner on the studio side. Aside from “Chicago,” it’s handling “Hours” overseas, and it won two for “Gangs of New York” (director Martin Scorsese, song for U2’s “The Hands That Built America”) and one for “Frida” (Elliot Goldenthal’s score).

Paramount nabbed two for “The Hours.” New Line earned a pair for “About Schmidt” (drama actor Jack Nicholson and script); Sony/Columbia won both supporting actor prizes for “Adaptation,” while Sony Pictures Classics’ “Talk to Her” got the foreign-lingo prize.

Except for “Frida,” all of the winners were December launches.

In the world of TV, HBO paced the races with seven of the 11 wins.

People in Hollywood love to joke about the Golden Globes, but they clearly take the event very seriously. It’s a key step in the Oscar buildup and it proves the amazing clout of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., an organization with only 87 voting members. Last year’s show drew 23.5 million U.S. viewers, the second highest-rated kudocast after Oscar. And reps of the HFPA say this year’s show will be seen in 130 countries.

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The Globes have the rep as the “fun” awards show. NBC ads used the tagline “Everybody comes! Anything goes!” There is often a convivial, party atmosphere: The ballroom at the BevHilton accommodates 1,300 guests and there are 750 bottles of champagne — you do the math.

However, if the evening was wild, it didn’t show on TV. Most attendees were on their best behavior.

One of the funniest speeches came from Nicholson, in the drama-lead category for “Schmidt.” “I don’t know whether to be happy or ashamed, because I thought we’d made a comedy,” he said. He wound up his speech with just a few thank you’s (to, for example, “Bobby Shaye and his company”) with the explanation for the brevity: “I took a Valium tonight.”

Nicholson makes Globes history by winning his sixth prize (he had been tied with Rosalind Russell).

There were a few subtle jabs in the acceptance speeches, such as Gere referring to members of the HFPA as “a deeply eccentric group of people.” On stage, composer Goldenthal thanked “the gentle folks at Miramax” then backstage told reporters of his run-in at a recent test screening with Harvey Weinstein.

Almodovar injected the only political note of the evening, by making a plea for peace.

Particularly early on, the evening was marked by long, often rambling acceptance speeches, as many winners took a long time to declare that they were surprised and unprepared, and then rattled off a list of thank-you’s.

Still, many of the speeches were charming.

An obviously delighted Scott Rudin, producer of “Hours,” called up the three actresses — Kidman, Streep and Julianne Moore — to the stage. He thanked the filmmakers as well as Paramount’s Sherry Lansing and Jonathan Dolgen.

“Chicago” producer Marty Richards said, “You have no idea what a long trip it’s been.” He saluted many people, including Bob Fosse, the film’s cast and crew and the pic’s “brilliant” writer Bill Condon and director Rob Marshall.

Scorsese got a standing ovation as he took home the directing prize for “Gangs.” He said the film was a dream come true for a subject he’d been fascinated with since he was 7 years old. It was also a project that has been in the works for 25 years.

Kidman saluted the performances by women this year and asked scribes “please keep writing for us, because we’re very interesting.” Kidman won in the musical-comedy race last year; with “Moulin Rouge” also taking home the musical-comedy prize last year, this means back-to-back victories for musicals at a time when not many are being made.

“Adaptation” picked up both the supporting actor wins. In the first award of the evening, Streep got a prolonged ovation as she picked up her trophy, her fourth Globe win.

A few minutes later, Chris Cooper won for his role as the oddball orchid thief in the film, thanking the Foreign Press with, “You’ve given millions and millions of stringy-haired and toothless people a lot of hope.”

In accepting his first Globe after two previous noms, Gere was one of many people to thank Weinstein: “a little rough around the edges, but a heart of gold.”

There were a few surprises, but no major jolts.

“Talk to Her,” helmed by Pedro Almodovar, won in the foreign-language race, though it’s ineligible for an Oscar in that category since it wasn’t Spain’s official submission.

In a tight race, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor won for best screenplay for “Schmidt.” The script was one of four adaptations in the five-film contest.

Of the pics with four or more nominations, only Focus Features’ “Far From Heaven” went home empty-handed. But the Globes’ also-rans should not give up hope. There are plenty of films with little or no Globe wins (“The Thin Red Line,” “Chocolat,” “The Cider House Rules”) that went on to Oscar noms or wins.

The Foreign Press often touts its accuracy as an Academy Awards bellwether. In 16 of the last 20 years, the best-pic Oscar winner was one of the Globes’ two victors (either comedy/musical or drama).

But last year, the HFPA handed out 13 film awards; only five of them went on to win Oscars.

The Globe salutes come right in the middle of film-kudos season. Oscar ballots went out Jan 10 and are due Jan. 29. So Oscar campaigners recognize the importance of HFPA noms and wins; it’s a way of saying “You’d better see this film before you fill out your ballot.”

The Cecil B. DeMille award went to Gene Hackman (who was a comedy-lead winner last year for “The Royal Tenenbaums”). Michael Caine and Robin Williams introduced clips from Hackman’s career and presented him the award. The actor got a prolonged standing ovation, and began his acceptance speech with “I never wanted to be anything but an actor.”

He concluded his tale of watching films as a youth by quoting a line from “White Heat” spoken by one of his favorites, James Cagney: “Top of the world, ma! Top of the world!”

HFPA prez Dagmar Dunlevy spoke briefly about the numerous charities that the org assists.

A.J. Lamas and Dominik Garcia-Lorida were Mr. and Ms. Golden Globes.

Globes were telecast live on NBC. Event was produced by Dick Clark Prods. in association with the HFPA. Dick Clark and Barry Adelman were executive producers. Al Schwartz and Ken Shapiro were producers; Ron Weed was co-producer.

And the Golden Globe winners are…

BEST PICTURE – DRAMA
“The Hours” (Paramount), Paramount Pictures/Miramax Films

BEST PICTURE – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
“Chicago” (Miramax) Producer Circle Co.,/Zadan-Meron Prods.

TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
“The Shield” (FX), Fox TV Studios, Sony Pictrs. TV

TELEVISION SERIES – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
“Curb Your Enthusiasm” (HBO Original Programming), HBO

MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
“The Gathering Storm” (A Scott Free Production in association with HBO Films), HBO

DIRECTOR
Martin Scorsese, “Gangs of New York”

ACTOR – DRAMA
Jack Nicholson, “About Schmidt”

ACTRESS – DRAMA
Nicole Kidman, “The Hours”

ACTOR – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Richard Gere, “Chicago”

ACTRESS – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Renee Zellweger, “Chicago”

ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
Michael Chiklis, “The Shield”

ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
Edie Falco, “The Sopranos”

ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Tony Shalhoub, “Monk”

ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Jennifer Aniston, “Friends”

SUPPORTING ACTOR
Chris Cooper, “Adaptation”

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Meryl Streep, “Adaptation”

ACTOR, MINI-SERIES OR A MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Albert Finney, “The Gathering Storm”

ACTRESS, MINI-SERIES OR A MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Uma Thurman, “Hysterical Blindness”

SUPPORTING ACTOR, SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Donald Sutherland, “Path to War”

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Kim Cattrall, “Sex and the City”

SCREENPLAY
Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, “About Schmidt”

ORIGINAL SCORE
Elliot Goldenthal, “Frida”

ORIGINAL SONG
“The Hands That Built America” – “Gangs of New York,” Music & Lyrics by U2

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
“Talk To Her” (Spain), El Deseo S.A./A3Tv and Via Digital (Sony Pictures Classics)

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