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 Thursday, 19 December, 2002, 16:11 GMT
Chicago tops Globe nominations
Catherine Zeta Jones in Chicago
Chicago is a big screen version of the stage musical
The high-kicking stars of the film Chicago have helped the musical lead the race for the big prizes at this year's Golden Globe awards - which are second only to the Oscars.

Chicago is up for eight awards, with stars Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta Jones and Richard Gere all nominated for acting gongs.

Best dramatic film nominations
Leonardo DiCaprio in Gangs of New York
Gangs of New York (above)
About Schmidt
The Two Towers
The Pianist
The Hours
The Hours, which sees Nicole Kidman play author Virginia Woolf, has seven nominations, including one for the Australian actress.

The Golden Globe nominations give the best indication yet of which films and actors are likely to be in contention for the Oscars as the film awards season gets into full swing.

True-life black comedy Adaptation, starring Nicolas Cage as an insecure screenwriter, has six nominations, including nods for Cage and director Spike Jonze.

The new Lord of the Rings film and Martin Scorsese's epic Gangs of New York are among the heavyweight productions that will do battle for the prestigious prize of best dramatic film.

They are joined on the shortlist by The Hours, Jack Nicholson's drama About Schmidt and The Pianist, directed by Roman Polanski.

Best comedy/musical film nominations
About A Boy
About A Boy (above)
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Nicholas Nickleby
Scorsese is up for the best director gong, alongside The Lord of the Rings' Peter Jackson, Spike Jonze and Rob Marshall, who directed Chicago.

About Schmidt director Alexander Payne and Stephen Daldry, for The Hours, are also on the list.

The shortlist for best dramatic actor includes big names Sir Michael Caine, Daniel Day Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jack Nicholson.

On the comedy and musical list, Gere and Cage are up against Hugh Grant, Adam Sandler and Kieran Culkin - the brother of one-time child star Macaulay.

Among the female stars, Kidman is up against her The Hours co-stars Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore in the drama category, as well as Salma Hayek and Diane Lane.

Streep gets another nomination in the supporting actress category for her role as a writer in Adaptation.

But although Adaptation is about struggling writers, the man upon whose life it is based - Charlie Kaufman - earns a nomination for best screenplay.

Who awards the Globes?
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association
It represents more than 90 film writers for publications in 55 countries
They are said to reach 250 million readers around the world
Also on the screenplay shortlist are Bill Condon for Chicago and David Hare for The Hours.

On the best musical/comedy actress shortlist, the Chicago stars are joined by veteran Goldie Hawn for her role as a former rock groupie in The Banger Sisters.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding star Nia Vardalos is also nominated, as is rising star Maggie Gyllenhaal for Secretary.

Last year, A Beautiful Mind, starring Russell Crowe, won best dramatic film and Moulin Rouge was named best musical or comedy.

Crowe and Kidman both picked up acting gongs, as did Sissy Spacek and Gene Hackman.

TV contenders

The Golden Globes, to be handed out in January, include more categories than the Oscars, with prizes for TV shows.

This year, Friends , Sex and the City and The Simpsons are among the contenders for best TV comedy, while 24, Six Feet Under and The Shield battle The Sopranos and The West Wing in the drama category.

The HBO network leads the TV nominations with a total of 26 - twice as many as its nearest rival, NBC.

This year's Golden Globes will mark the 60th time the prizes have been handed out by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

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See also:

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