Actress: Comedy/Musical

Golden Globe nominations

in “Being Julia”
How she got here: Playing a larger-than-life actress in a smaller-than-usual film, Bening shows she can do it all. “They love Annette, they love period pieces, and she’s got great Hollywood glamour,” says one consultant. She’s considered a front-runner to win, and that’s quite a feat, since not many people outside L.A. and New York have even seen the film.

in “De-Lovely”
How she got here: Judd isn’t often on the awards circuit. But taking on the challenge of playing Linda Porter — a wife who knowingly put up with her husband’s bisexuality, nursed him through a near-fatal riding accident and inspired some of the greatest songs of the 20th century — is sending her to the red carpet this year. A touching deathbed scene probably sealed the deal.

in “The Phantom of the Opera”
How she got here: Rossum’s turn as one of musical theater’s most well-known female roles looks effortless, as evidenced by Globes voters who recognized this opera-trained teenager. At 18, she is the youngest Golden Globe nominee this year. She was only 16 when she got the role, and any questions about her acting or musical maturity were quickly dispelled. “She made me forget Sarah Brightman,” says one Globes voter. “This girl is a major talent.”

Popular on Variety

in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”
How she got here: Not yet 30, this is Winslet’s fourth Globe nomination following “Sense and Sensibility,” “Titanic” and “Iris,” and she probably just missed out on getting a fifth this year for her supporting perf in “Finding Neverland.” Nevertheless, voters saw her quirky, funny
turn as Clementine Kruczynski early this year and kept a spot for her on their ballots.

in “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason”
How she got here: The HFPA might as well just keep a table open for Zellweger because they seem to invite her to the party every year no matter what she’s in. With wins for “Nurse Betty,” “Chicago” and “Cold Mountain,” plus a previous nom for the original “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” this marks her fifth nod in a row.The lack of strong female competition in this category probably earned her a spot, but as a Texas native playing an English singleton, she clearly wowed this international press org — again.