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New Epic Film <i>Cold Mountain</i> Leads Golden Globe Nominations - 2003-12-18

The American Civil War epic Cold Mountain tops this year's nominees for Golden Globe awards. Nominations were announced Thursday morning in Los Angeles. The annual honors from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association mark the start of the award season in Hollywood.

The Civil War drama Cold Mountain earned eight nominations, including one for best dramatic picture and one each for stars Nicole Kidman and Jude Law.

Other top contenders for the Golden Globes are the romance Lost in Translation and the mystery Mystic River. Each earned five nominations.

Big Fish, an offbeat comedy about a father and son, earned four nominations, as did the fantasy Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Contenders for the award of best actor in a drama include Russell Crowe for the seagoing epic Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.

Tom Cruise is another nominee for best dramatic actor for his role as an American in 19th century Japan in The Last Samurai.

Nominees for best actor also include Ben Kingsley, who plays a desperate Persian immigrant in House of Sand and Fog.

Nominees for best actress in a drama include Scarlett Johansson for Girl with a Pearl Earring, Uma Thurman for the bloody action film Kill Bill Vol. 1, and Kate Blanchett for Veronica Guerin.

The actor Kelsey Grammer helped read the nominations for comedies.

"Best performance by an actor in a motion picture, musical or comedy: Jack Black, School of Rock; Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl; Bill Murray, Lost in Translation; Jack Nicholson, Something's Gotta Give; Billy Bob Thornton, Bad Santa.," he announced.

Nominees for best actress in a musical or comedy include Helen Mirren for Calendar Girls and Diane Keaton for Something's Gotta Give, two films about beauty, romance and older women.

The Golden Globes mark the beginning of the trophy season in Hollywood, which culminates with the Oscars or Academy Awards. The Golden Globes are awarded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and president Lorenzo Soria says that makes them distinctive.

"We are a group of journalists coming all from abroad, and that probably gives us a slightly different perspective than other award shows," he explained. "And we've been around for 61 years, and I guess that may mean that we're doing something right that people appreciate."

Mr. Soria and a large group of celebrities will announce winners of the Golden Globes January 25 in Los Angeles.