'Cold Mountain' set to dominate at Hollywood's Golden Globe Awards

Helen Mirren, Jude Law, Ricky Gervais, Anthony Minghella and Richard Curtis are the leading British hopes in Hollywood's Golden Globe Awards.

The awards, seen as a precursor to the Oscars, look set to be dominated by the American civil war epic Cold Mountain, starring Law, Nicole Kidman and Renée Zellweger. It has received eight nominations including Best Drama Actor for Law's portrayal of a wounded confederate soldier, and Best Director and Best Screenplay for Anthony Minghella.

Mirren is up for her second Golden Globe after being nominated as Best Lead Comedy Actress for her part in Calendar Girls, the film inspired by a group of Yorkshire Women's Institute members who posed nude to raise money for a local hospital.

Mirren, best known for her role as DCI Jane Tennison in Prime Suspect, previously won a globe for the 1996 television film Losing Chase. She has also previously been nominated for her role as a housekeeper in Gosford Park.

Curtis receives a Best Screenplay nomination for Love Actually, the Christmas box office hit starring Hugh Grant, which is also nominated for Best Comedy. It faces competition from another British film, the football coming-of-age story Bend it Like Beckham.

In the television section, The Office, which goes out on the cable television channel BBC America, has a chance of adding to its already large crop of awards. Gervais has been nominated for Best Actor in a Music or Comedy Series.

Albert Finney also adds to British hopes with a nomination as Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Big Fish.

The third installment of The Lord of The Rings picks up four nominations, including Best Film Drama where it is pitted against Cold Mountain, Clint Eastwood's Mystic River, and Master and Commander starring Russell Crowe.

Mystic River and Lost in Translation, featuring newcomer Scarlett Johansson, have five nominations each, behindCold Mountain, and they are followed by The Lord of The Rings: The Return of the King, with four and Master and Commander with three.

In the Best Actor category, Law is up against Crowe, Sean Penn, who stars in Mystic River, Tom Cruise, who is nominated for The Last Samurai, and Sir Ben Kingsley, nominated for House of Sand and Fog.

The Best Actress award is between Kidman, Cate Blanchett, nominated for Veronica Guerin, Uma Thurman for Kill Bill, Charlize Theron for Monster and Evan Rachel Wood for Thirteen.

Peter Jackson is nominated for Best Director for The Lord of The Rings, and is up against Eastwood for Mystic River and Peter Weir for Master and Commander.

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