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'Sideways,' 'The Aviator' Big Winners at Golden Globes

"Sideways" (search), the tale of two friends on a soul-searching trek through wine country, snatched the top comedy film award and "The Aviator" (search), the biopic about neurotic airline mogul and movie director Howard Hughes, captured the top drama film award at Sunday night's Golden Globes.

"The Aviator" also took home best actor in a drama. Child star and heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio (search) can now add "Golden Globe winner" to his list of credentials for his portrayal of the eccentric billionaire Hughes in the film.

DiCaprio paid homage to the movie's director, Martin Scorsese (search), who lost his best director bid to Clint Eastwood (search) and his boxing film "Million Dollar Baby" earlier in the evening.

Photo Essay: The 62nd Annual Golden Globe Awards

"The pinnacle of all that is to work alongside one of the greatest contributors to the world of cinema of all time, and that is the great Martin Scorsese," said DiCaprio, whom Scorsese also cast as his leading man in "Gangs of New York."

And the actor closed his remarks by thanking Mom and Dad.

"I could not have won without my amazingly supportive and loving parents,” DiCaprio said.

His competitors in the category were Javier Bardem for "The Sea Inside," Don Cheadle for "Hotel Rwanda," Johnny Depp for "Finding Neverland" and Liam Neeson for "Kinsey."

"Sideways" also won the Globe for its screenplay by writer/director Alexander Payne and writer Jim Taylor.

Hilary Swank (search), who bagged an Oscar in 1999 for "Boys Don't Cry," won the Golden Globe for best actress in a drama for the boxing story "Million Dollar Baby." Swank lavished praise on co-star Morgan Freeman (search) and called husband Chad Lowe "my rock, my everything." But she spent more time speaking of her admiration and fondness of director and co-star Eastwood.

"I don't want to ruin your 'Go ahead, make my day image,' but you have such a huge heart and you envelop all the people around you," Swank told a tearful Eastwood from the podium. "You guided us so brilliantly, while you also, in my humble opinion, gave the performance of your career."

Others in the best dramatic actress Globe category included Scarlett Johansson for "A Love Song for Bobby Long," Nicole Kidman for "Birth," Imelda Staunton for "Vera Drake" and Uma Thurman for "Kill Bill: Vol. 2."

Jamie Foxx (search) took home the Globe for best actor in a musical or comedy film for his portrayal of legendary R&B musician Ray Charles in the biographical movie "Ray."

"Can I just tell you that I am having the ride of my life right now?" said Foxx, considered a front-runner to win the Best Actor Oscar for his uncanny emulation of Charles, who died last year. "I wish I could take what I'm feeling right now and put it in the water system, and we would all love each other a whole lot more."

In his acceptance speech, Foxx took the stage singing — rousing the audience to join him — and left it with a tearful tribute to his grandmother.

He beat another favorite in the category, Paul Giamatti (search), for his starring role in "Sideways," as well as Jim Carrey for "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," Kevin Kline for "De-Lovely" and Kevin Spacey for "Beyond the Sea."

Besides his "Ray" nomination, Foxx scored nods for supporting actor in the thriller "Collateral" and actor in a TV movie or miniseries for the prison drama "Redemption."

Annette Bening (search) snagged the best actress in a musical or comedy Globe for her role as a scheming, aging movie star in the 1930s-era "Being Julia."

"We had a hell of a good time making this movie, and we love it," said Bening, who thanked husband Warren Beatty with the remark, "The lunch at the pizza joint was delicious."

Bening's contenders were Ashley Judd for "De-Lovely," Emma Rossum for "Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera," Kate Winslet for "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and Renee Zellweger for "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason."

Comedian Will Ferrell (search) presented the best actress in a musical or comedy film award wearing an eye patch and joking about a boating accident. He put glasses on over the patch when he read out the nominations.

Eastwood took home the best director award for "Million Dollar Baby." Eastwood, who previously won the directing Oscar for "Unforgiven," thanked the "great Hilary Swank and the world's greatest actor, Morgan Freeman" in accepting the award.

The quirky, satirical prime-time soap opera "Desperate Housewives" (search), a smash hit for ABC, captured the Golden Globe for TV series, musical or comedy, beating FOX's "Arrested Development," HBO's "Entourage," HBO's "Sex and the City" (which ended its run last year) and NBC's "Will & Grace."

Actress Teri Hatcher (search) won the best actress in a musical or comedy TV series award for her role in "Desperate Housewives," beating two of her costars as well as "Sex and The City"'s Sarah Jessica Parker and Debra Messing of "Will & Grace."

She thanked ABC for giving "me a second chance at a career when I couldn't have been a bigger has-been."

The television plastic surgery drama series "Nip/Tuck" (search) on FX won the Globe in that category over HBO's "The Sopranos," FOX's "24," HBO's "Deadwood" and ABC's "Lost."

When the Golden Globe Awards opened, "Closer," a film about betrayal and infidelity, won the first two awards — with Clive Owen (search) getting the best supporting actor award and Natalie Portman (search) taking home the best supporting actress honor.

Owen and Portman offered profuse thanks to the movie's director Mike Nichols (search).

"Mike Nichols, I love you, you're the nicest, smartest, wisest daddy, friend, rock star," Portman said.

"Wow," Owen said. "Huge thanks for Mike Nichols for giving me the opportunity and guiding us through the film so brilliantly."

The television miniseries or movie Golden Globe went to HBO's "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers" (search) and its star, Geoffrey Rush (search), won the best TV actor in a miniseries or movie award for his role as British actor Sellers.

Glenn Close (search) won best TV actress in a miniseries or movie Golden Globe for her role as Eleanor of Aquitaine, the acerbic wife of King Henry II (played by Patrick Stewart) who plots her husband's death while locked in a tower in "The Lion in Winter" on Showtime.

Ian McShane (search) won the best actor Globe for a TV drama series for his role in "Deadwood." He beat award-winning star Michael Chiklis of "The Shield," Denis Leary of "Rescue Me," Julian McMahon of "Nip/Tuck" and James Spader of "Boston Legal."

Jason Bateman (search) won in the television actor in a musical or comedy series category for his work on FOX's "Arrested Development."

"I am truly, truly lucky to be on this show," Bateman said in his acceptance speech.

In the miniseries, movie or series category, Anjelica Huston (search) won best supporting actress for her role in "Iron Jawed Angels" and "Star Trek" star William Shatner (search) took home the best supporting actor Globe for "Boston Legal."

The best actress Globe for a television drama series went to Mariska Hargitay (search) for "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." Hargitay beat out "Alias" star Jennifer Garner, award-winner Edie Falco of "The Sopranos," Christine Lahti of "Jack & Bobby" and Joely Richardson of "Nip/Tuck."

Hargitay ended her remarks by addressing her father, who fought back tears as she accepted her Golden Globe.

"You are my hero," she told him. "I love you, Dad.”

"The Aviator" earned composer Howard Shore the Globe for film score, while Mick Jagger (search) and Dave Stewart (search) won the song honor for "Old Habits Die Hard" from "Alfie."

"I'd like to thank Dave Stewart for getting me into this mess," Jagger said on stage alongside Stewart, formerly of the Eurythmics.

Spain's "The Sea Inside" (search) took home the best foreign language film Golden Globe.

"Sideways" had a leading seven nominations. In addition to the best picture, musical or comedy nomination, lead actor Giamatti, supporting players Thomas Haden Church and Virginia Madsen and director Payne also had nods.

Among dramas, "The Aviator" led with six nominations, including best picture, best director and best dramatic actor as well as Best Supporting Actress for Cate Blanchett (search), who was widely expected to win for playing film legend Katharine Hepburn.

A major celebrity party in their own right, the Globes serve as the most prominent ceremony in Hollywood's pre-game show leading up to the Academy Awards (search), which will be held this year on Feb. 27.

Unlike the more reserved Oscars, the Globes are done in less-formal banquet style, allowing celebrities to kick back and mingle. Along with film prizes, the Globes also present TV honors.

"It's very loose, the food is great, you get to hobnob with people on the film and TV side," said Tony Shalhoub, a nominee for best actor in a TV musical or comedy for "Monk."

The Globes are awarded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (search), whose small membership of about 90 people pales compared to the nearly 6,000 film professionals eligible to vote for the Oscars.

Yet the Globes historically serve as a solid forecast that helps set the odds for subsequent film honors.

Golden Globe winners gain attention that can put them on the inside track for prizes from acting, directing and other filmmaking guilds, momentum that often sticks with them right through Oscar night.

All four of last year's Oscar winners for acting — Sean Penn, Charlize Theron, Tim Robbins and Renee Zellweger — earned Golden Globes first. Best-picture champ "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" and its director, Peter Jackson, also preceded their Oscar triumphs with Globe wins.

Along with "The Aviator," other dramatic best-picture nominees for the Golden Globes were "Closer," "Finding Neverland," "Hotel Rwanda," "Kinsey" and "Million Dollar Baby." Joining "Sideways" and "Phantom of the Opera" in the best musical or comedy race were "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," "The Incredibles" and "Ray."

Robin Williams, a five-time Globe winner for such films as "The Fisher King" and "Good Morning, Vietnam," received the Cecil B. DeMille (search) award for career achievement. Williams dedicated his award to the late Christopher Reeve, who died last year.

Williams' manic acceptance speech included jibes at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's occasionally embarrassing history, such as presenting Pia Zadora (search) with the best newcomer award for her movie flop "Butterfly" just two years after giving Williams the same honor for "Mork & Mindy."

But Williams praised the group for having a separate category for comedy, which often is overlooked in other Hollywood movie honors.

"You allow us to be in the room with the adults," Williams said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.