American Civil War movie Cold Mountain is leading the race for the Golden Globe Awards with eight nominations.
Nicole Kidman and Jude Law earned acclaim for Cold Mountain
Jude Law, Nicole Kidman and Renee Zellweger are nominated for their roles in the epic, while Anthony Minghella is in the running for best director.
Clint Eastwood's thriller Mystic River and comedy Lost in Translation are both named in five categories.
The Golden Globes, to be awarded in Los Angeles on 25 January, are seen as strong indicators for Oscar success.
The films nominated for best drama movie alongside Cold Mountain are The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Mystic River and Seabiscuit.
LEADING GLOBE NOMINATIONS
Cold Mountain - 8
Mystic River - 5
Lost in Translation - 5
Lord of the Rings (above) - 4
Master and Commander - 3
Anthony Minghella said he was pleased the Globes had recognised a film made by an international cast and crew.
"The great thing about Hollywood has been its generosity
toward people who don't come from America," he said by telephone from Sydney, Australia.
British films Bend It Like Beckham and Love Actually are nominated in the best musical or comedy movie category.
They face competition from Tim Burton's Big Fish, Sofia Coppola's Lost In Translation and hit animation Finding Nemo.
In the best actor category, Jude Law is nominated alongside Russell Crowe for Master and Commander and Sean Penn for Mystic River.
Tom Cruise collects a nomination for his performance in The Last Samurai, while British actor Sir Ben Kingsley also gets a mention for House of Sand and Fog.
The best actress award is between Kidman for Cold Mountain, Cate Blanchett for Veronica Guerin, Uma Thurman for Kill Bill, Charlize Theron for Monster and Evan Rachel Wood for Thirteen.
Newcomer Scarlett Johansson is nominated in two lead acting categories - best actress in a drama for Girl with the Pearl Earring and best actress in a musical or comedy for Lost in Translation.
Scarlett Johansson is nominated for two film roles
Peter Jackson has been nominated in the best director category for the final instalment in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, which picked up four nominations in total. None were in the acting categories.
Also on the directing shortlist are Clint Eastwood's thriller Mystic River and Peter Weir's Master and Commander.
The only female director in the running is Coppola for comedy Lost in Translation, which stars Bill Murray.
Meanwhile, Albert Finney is among those in the best supporting actor race, nominated for his performance in Big Fish.
Supporting actress nominees include Zellweger for Cold Mountain and Hope Davis for American Splendor.
Mystic River stars Sean Penn and Kevin Bacon
The Golden Globes also covers television, and British hit The Office - which airs on cable channel BBC America - is competing in the comedy section against established series including Sex and the City and Will and Grace.
The Office creator Ricky Gervais is named on the best comedy TV actor shortlist, competing against Matt LeBlanc for Friends and Eric McCormack for Will and Grace.
Controversial TV drama Reagans - which prompted complaints about the portrayal of the former president even before it aired - earned best actor nominations for Judy Davis and James Brolin who played Nancy and Ronald Reagan.
Lorenzo Soria, the president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which organises the awards, said the range of movies was very diverse.
Some critics called 2003 a poor year for films, but Ms Soria disagreed and said the list of nominees proved to be strong.