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Golden Globe nominations announced
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The British historical drama "Atonement" led Golden Globe Awards nominations on Thursday, receiving seven nods for the first major honors of Hollywood's upcoming award season, followed by "Charlie Wilson's War" with five nods and starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts.

Chinese director Ang Lee's "Lust, Caution" won a nomination in the best foreign language film category, along with four other films from Romania, France and the United States.

"Michael Clayton", "No Country for Old Men" and "Sweeney Todd" received four nominations each, according to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organizer of the awards ceremony.

"Atonement," released by Focus Features, Universal Pictures' specialty films unit, was nominated for best motion picture drama, best director, best actor, best actress, best supporting actress, best screenplay and best original score.

Nominated for best drama along with "Atonement" were "American Gangster", "Eastern Promises", "The Great Debaters", "Michael Clayton", "No Country for Old Men" and "There Will Be Blood."

Up for best picture in the comedy or musical category were "Across the Universe", "Charlie Wilson's War", "Hairspray", "Juno" and "Sweeney Todd."

Nominated for best actor in a motion picture drama: George Clooney for "Michael Clayton", Daniel Day Lewis for "There Will Be Blood", James McAvoy for "Atonement", Viggo Mortensen for "Eastern Promises" and Denzel Washington for "American Gangster."

McAvoy's co-star, Keira Knightley, was nominated for best actress in a drama, along with Cate Blanchett for "Elizabeth: The Golden Age", Julie Christie for "Away From Her", Jodie Foster for "The Brave One" and Angelina Jolie for "A Mighty Heart."

On the comedy and musical side, nominations for best actress went to Amy Adams for "Enchanted", Nikki Blonsky for "Hairspray", Helena Bonham Carter for "Sweeney Todd", Marion Cotillard for "La Vie en Rose" and Ellen Page for "Juno."

The best actors nominees for a motion picture comedy or musical were Johnny Depp for "Sweeney Todd", Ryan Gosling for "Lars and the Real Girl", Tom Hanks for "Charlie Wilson's War", Philip Seymour Hoffman for "Savages'" and John Reilly for "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story."

Best director nods went to Tim Burton for "Sweeney Todd", Ethan and Joel Coen for "No Country for Old Men", Julian Schnabel for "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly", Ridley Scott for "American Gangster" and Joe Wright for "Atonement."

(L-R)US actress Hayden Panettiere, Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds and US director Quentin Tarantino prepare to announce the nominations for the 65th Annual Golden Globe in Beverly Hills, California.(Photo: AFP)

"Bee Movie", "Ratatouille" and "The Simpsons Movie" were nominated for best animated feature film.

The Golden Globe Awards nominations were announced early on Thursday in a packed ballroom at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association kicked off tinsel town's current award season. The announcement took place before dawn to accommodate the live broadcasts of the morning news programs in U. S. East Coast.

The Golden Globes differ broadly from the Academy Awards, in part by including TV nominations, and by featuring two categories for best picture -- one for musicals and comedies, the other for dramas.

Although Golden Globes awards presentation is often promoted as the best predictor of the Oscars, none of the Golden Globes' best movie drama winners have gone on to win the best picture Oscar in the past three years.

Last time the two groups agreed was for films released in 2003, when "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" won both awards.

The various guild awards are better at predicting the acting and directing Oscars than the Golden Globes, observers said.

The credibility of the Golden Globe Awards has long been questioned because of the relatively small membership of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which consists of some 85 journalists who cover entertainment for foreign media.

The Golden Globe Awards are scheduled for January 13 at the Beverly Hilton, where Steven Spielberg will receive the Globes' Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement.

The Academy Awards nominations will be announced nine days later on January 22. It will mark a major milestone in an award season that also includes the Directors Guild of America awards and the Screen Actors Guild awards in January before culminating with the 80th annual Academy Awards, which will be presented on February 24.

(Xinhua News Agency December 14, 2007)

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