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Golden Globe nominations 2006

Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain

Story by Jack Foley

GAY cowboy drama Brokeback Mountain has emerged as the hot favourite for Golden Globe success after lassooing seven nominations, including best drama.

Ang Lee’s epic is based on the 1997 novella by Annie Proulx and stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger as two cow-hands who develop sexual feelings for each other over the course of a winter in the mountains.

Their friendship develops over the course of several years, although their passion has to be conducted in secret.

The film picked up further nominations for best director (Lee) and actor (Heath Ledger).

Competing with Brokeback Mountain in the coveted best film drama category are George Clooney’s black and white McCarthy drama Good Luck, and Good Luck, Peter Jackson’s King Kong, A History of Violence, Woody Allen’s Match Point and The Constant Gardener.

In the best musical or comedy shortlist, two British prospects are Pride and Prejudice (starring Keira Knightley) and Mrs Henderson Presents (with Dame Judi Dench). Both films were well received by US critics.

However, they face stiff competition from Johnny Cash biopic, Walk The Line, The Producers and The Squid and the Whale (which recently headed the nominations list of Independent Spirit Awards).

The best director category boasts a very strong field of talent, with Brokeback’s Lee pitted against Steven Spielberg (for Munich), Peter Jackson (King Kong), Woody Allen (Match Point), George Clooney (Goodnight, and Good Luck) and Brazil’s Fernando Meirelles (TheConstant Gardener).

Acting shortlist

Another of the coveted categories is the best actor and actress field, which again is divided into dramatic and musical/comedy sections.

In the dramatic field, Russell Crowe gained his fifth Golden Globe nomination for his performance in Cinderella Man but the actor faces tough competition from early Oscar favourite, Philip Seymour Hoffman (for Capote), Heath Ledger, David Straithairn (Good Night, And Good Luck) and Terrence Howard (Hustle & Flow).

Going one better than Crowe in terms of nominations is Dame Judi Dench, who received her sixth nod for Mrs Henderson Presents, alongside fellow Brit Keira Knightley, as Elizabeth Bennett, in Pride and Prejudice.

They also face stiff competition from the likes of Reese Witherspoon in Walk The Line, Laura Linney in The Squid & The Whale and Sarah Jessica Parker in The Family Stone.

Witherspoon’s Walk the Line co-star, Joaquin Phoenix, is nominated in the best actor in a comedy or musical category for his portrayal of Johnny Cash, while former James Bond, Pierce Brosnan is in the running for The Matador, as is Johnny Depp for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Ireland’s Cillian Murphy was also nominated for his role as a transvestite in Breakfast on Pluto, as was Jeff Daniels for The Squid & The Whale and Nathan Lane for The Producers.

TV awards

Desperate Housewives emerged as the early favourite in the TV awards, picking up no less than four of the best comedy actress nominations for each of its stars.

Their only competitor is Mary Louise Parker for acclaimed comedy-drama, Weeds.

British actor, Hugh Laurie, is nominated in the best actor category for his excellent work on House, alongside Lost’s leading man Matthew Fox, 24’s Kiefer Sutherland and Patrick Dempsey and Wentworth Miller.

Rome, a co-production between the BBC and America’s HBO network, secured two nominations including best TV drama and best actress in a TV drama for Polly Walker.

She joins a strong field of actresses, including Glenn Close for The Shield and Geena Davies for political drama, Commander and Chief.

The Golden Globes are handed out by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and are widely viewed as a forerunner to The Oscars which follow in March. They will be presented at a ceremony in Los Angeles on January 16, 2006.

Read the nominations in full