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Tom Brook Friday, 21 January, 2000, 16:52 GMT
Going for Golden Globe glory
Kevin Spacey in front-runner American Beauty
By BBC News Online Entertainment correspondent Tom Brook

Amid considerable hype, the 57th annual Golden Globe Awards gets underway in Beverly Hills on Sunday night with a more than respectable showing of British film and TV talent.

The event is being billed as the first major awards show of the new millennium, and prizes will be handed out for 13 film categories and 11 for television.

Click here to see the full list of nominees.

American Beauty, a tale of suburban angst fashioned by British theatre director Sam Mendes in his feature debut, leads the film categories with six nominations.
British hopeful Jude Law in The Talented Mr Ripley
It is followed by thriller The Talented Mr Ripley and the tobacco industry whistleblower drama, The Insider. Both films have five nominations each.

The Globes are awarded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and in recent years they've gained respectability and clout with a high profile star-studded ceremony that is broadcast on network TV.

The awards have also become a fairly reliable indicator of the Oscars.

In a year when the Oscars race is wide open with no clear frontrunner, the Golden Globes could play a decisive role if they give American Beauty the coveted best motion picture drama prize.

That would raise the film's profile, and give it added momentum just as Oscar voters are marking up their ballots for this year's nominations.
Swinging for best actor prize: Denzel Washington
In the Globes' best actor in a drama category, most agree it's a three way race between Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe for his role in The Insider and Denzel Washington for his portrayal of wrongly imprisoned American boxer Rubin Carter in The Hurricane.

If American Beauty emerges as the best picture then Spacey could well grab this prize.

Better odds

The Globes split films into two categories - drama and musical/comedy - so more acting trophies are handed out than at the Oscars.

This could benefit both Hugh Grant (Notting Hill) and Rupert Everett (An Ideal Husband). They have both been nominated for best actor in a musical or comedy at the Globes, but probably stand little chance of Oscar recognition.
Jim Carrey won wide critical acclaim for his Andy Kaufman role
These two British actors are up against Jim Carrey for his portrayal of comedian Andy Kaufman in Man On The Moon. Carrey's performance is impressive but the film has failed to make much of an impression.

Britain's Janet McTeer is nominated for her role in the best actress in a musical or comedy category for her depiction of a free-spirited Southern woman in Tumbleweeds. For her, the Globes could prove decisive.

Her role has won widespread critical acclaim, but few people have seen the film and a Globe victory could really help her Oscar chances.
Michael Caine is up for best supporting actor
In the supporting acting categories, Michael Caine could possibly win for his performance as the ether-addicted but very human doctor in The Cider House Rules.

However, he's up against some real heavyweights including Tom Cruise and as well as the youngest Golden Globe nominee, 11-year-old Haley Joel Osment for his memorable role in The Sixth Sense.

Jude Law has also earned a best supporting acting nod for his convincing portrayal of an American playboy in The Talented Mr Ripley - a win would definitely boost his Oscar hopes.

The supporting actress category includes a nomination for British actress Samantha Morton who appears in Woody Allen's latest film Sweet and Lowdown.
Tough competition for Britain's Samantha Morton
Morton also faces strong competition from American talent.

In the television categories this is a year in which it's thought the mafia TV series The Sopranos might finally walk away with some trophies after being shut out of the Emmys.

This would be a victory for cable TV channel which produced the series, HBO, as top Globe awards nearly always go to network productions.

British nominees for television include Helen Mirren in the best actress category for her role in Passion of Ayn Rand and Miranda Richardson for her supporting role in The Big Brass Ring.

The Globes is an event where the horse race can obscure some underlying realities.
Box office hit Toy Story 2 is also in the running
On the plus side the film choices show that it's been a year of great diversity, with clever commercial blockbusters like Toy Story 2 as well as imaginative independent films such as Being John Malkovich both in the running.

But the sad fact remains that of the 74 film and TV acting nominees only three are non-white.

This lack of racial diversity has already become a controversial issue for the American networks.

If the Oscar choices mirror the Globes, then complaints over the absence of black roles in the film industry are bound to surface once again.

Click here to see the full list of nominees.

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Josh Barrett
"Britain's biggest film of '99, Notting Hill, has been nominated for the award Best Comedy"
See also:

21 Jan 00 | Entertainment
18 Jan 00 | Entertainment
20 Dec 99 | Entertainment
09 Dec 99 | Entertainment
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