'Chicago' Strikes Gold with the Globes

12/19/2002 AT 01:00 PM EST

"Chicago" was on fire with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Thursday, as the as-yet unreleased movie adaptation of the 1975 stage musical picked up a field-best eight Golden Globe nominations, including best comedy/musical and nods for its stars, Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere.

The film's two supporting actors, Queen Latifah and John C. Reilly, also scored nominations.

On the drama side, "The Hours," about the lives of women linked to a novel by author Virginia Woolf, picked up seven nominations, including best motion picture, drama, best actress for Nicole Kidman and supporting actor for Ed Harris. The film will compete for best drama alongside Martin Scorsese's "Gangs of New York," the tragi-comedy "About Schmidt," "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" and Roman Polanski's "The Pianist."

For best comedy/musical, "Chicago" is nominated alongside the quirky meta-movie "Adaptation," the touchy-feely (for the English) Hugh Grant film "About a Boy," the little-movie-that-could "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and the adaptation of Charles Dickens's "Nicholas Nickleby."

Meryl Streep, 53, received two nominations in two separate categories: for her starring role in "The Hours" and for her supporting role as a homicidal author in "Adaptation."

Other dramatic actress nominations went to Salma Hayek ("Frida"); Diane Lane ("Unfaithful") and Julianne Moore ("Far From Heaven").

Oddly, Leonardo DiCaprio was nominated in the dramatic actor category for Steven Spielberg's "Catch Me If You Can" -- which could be termed a comedy. As such, he is up against leading Oscar contenders Jack Nicholson ("About Schmidt"), Michael Caine ("The Quiet American") and Daniel Day-Lewis ("Gangs of New York"), as well as Adrien Brody ("The Pianist").

Besides "Chicago"'s Zellweger and Zeta-Jones, the musical/comedy actress nominees are Maggie Gyllenhaal for "Secretary," Goldie Hawn for "The Banger Sisters," and Nia Vardalos for "My Big Fat Greek Wedding."

Adam Sandler was a surprise nominee in the comedy actor race, for "Punch-Drunk Love." His competition includes Gere for "Chicago," Nicolas Cage in "Adaptation," Kieran Culkin in "Igby Goes Down" and Grant in "About a Boy."

Colin Farrell, Noah Wyle and Rachel Griffiths announced the Globe nominations -- often seen as a barometer for the Oscars -- in an early-morning ceremony in Beverly Hills.

And, in the spirit of the informal nature of the Globes, the trio often joked as they read the list of names. (Farrell, in particular, stumbled twice upon pronouncing the name of the nominated movie "The Pianist.")

But seriously, folks, the Globes -- unlike the Oscars -- honor accomplishments on both big and small screens.

In the TV race, "The Simpsons" is back on the list of nominees for best comedy series, competing against "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Friends," "Sex and the City" and "Will and Grace."

Competition between "The West Wing" and "The Sopranos," especially fierce at the Emmys, again reared its ugly head, with both shows in the running for best dramatic series. Its stars -- martin Sheen and Allison Janney from the former, James Gandolfini and Edie Falco from the latter -- are up for acting honors.

As had been earlier announced, Gene Hackman, 72, will receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement. The 60th annual Globes ceremony will be broadcast live on NBC from the Beverly Hilton Hotel's Grand Ballroom on Jan. 19.

Here's a rundown of the major nominees:

Best Film, Drama
"The Hours"
"About Schmidt"
"Gangs of New York"
"The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers"
"The Pianist"

Best Film, Comedy/Musical
"About a Boy"
"My Big Fat Greek Wedding"
"Nicholas Nickleby"

Best Actor, Drama
Adrien Brody, "The Pianist"
Jack Nicholson, "About Schmidt"
Michael Caine, "The Quiet American"
Daniel Day-Lewis, "Gangs of New York"
Leonardo DiCaprio, "Catch Me if You Can"

Best Actress, Drama
Nicole Kidman, "The Hours"
Salma Hayek, "Frida"
Diane Lane, "Unfaithful"
Julianne Moore, "Far From Heaven"
Meryl Streep, "The Hours"

Best Actor, Comedy/Musical
Adam Sandler, "Punch-Drunk Love"
Nicolas Cage, "Adaptation"
Kieran Culkin, "Igby Goes Down"
Richard Gere, "Chicago"
Hugh Grant, "About a Boy"

Best Actress, Comedy/Musical
Maggie Gyllenhaal, "Secretary"
Goldie Hawn, "The Banger Sisters"
Nia Vardalos, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"
Renee Zellweger, "Chicago"
Catherine Zeta-Jones, "Chicago"

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