'Sideways' Leads Golden Globes Nominations

The road-trip flick "Sideways" led Golden Globe (search) contenders Monday with seven nominations, while Jamie Foxx (search) scored a record three acting bids.

The Howard Hughes biography "The Aviator" landed six nominations including best dramatic feature, actor and director, solidifying its prospects as a potential best-picture front-runner at the Academy Awards.

Other best drama nominees were the caustic sex tale "Closer"; "Finding Neverland," the story of "Peter Pan" creator J.M. Barrie; "Hotel Rwanda," a tale set against the genocide in that country; "Kinsey," a film biography of sex researcher Alfred Kinsey, and the boxing saga "Million Dollar Baby."

Along with "Sideways," best musical or comedy nominees were the romance "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"; the animated superhero adventure "The Incredibles"; "The Phantom of the Opera," adapted from the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, and the Ray Charles film biography "Ray."

"Ray" star Foxx was nominated for best musical or comedy actor for that film, for supporting actor for "Collateral" as a taxi driver whose cab is hijacked by a hit man, and as best actor in a TV movie or miniseries for the prison drama "Redemption."

Other stars have received two nominations in a single year, but Foxx was the first to receive three. The nominations came on Foxx's 37th birthday.

"What a great way to start the day with three birthday gifts," he said. "I am honored to be mentioned in the same categories with such tremendously talented actors."

"The Aviator" star Leonardo DiCaprio earned a nomination as best dramatic actor for his role as Hughes. Other nominees were Javier Bardem as a paralyzed man seeking the right to die in "The Sea Inside"; Don Cheadle as a hotel manager sheltering refugees in "Hotel Rwanda"; Johnny Depp as playwright Barrie in "Finding Neverland" and Liam Neeson as the title character in "Kinsey."

Dramatic lead actress nominees were Scarlett Johansson in "A Love Song for Bobby Long," playing a teen who finds an unlikely extended family; Nicole Kidman as a woman visited by a boy claiming to be her dead husband in "Birth"; Imelda Staunton as the title character in the abortion drama "Vera Drake"; Hilary Swank as a boxer in "Million Dollar Baby" and Uma Thurman as a vengeful former assassin in "Kill Bill -- Vol. 2."

Swank is a previous Golden Globe winner for "Boys Don't Cry," an honor that helped position the actress for her best-actress Oscar win on that movie. She said she avoids thinking ahead about how her Globe nomination might affect her Oscar chances.

"I don't put a lot of thought into that," said Swank, who also received a Golden Globe nomination for best actress in a TV movie or miniseries for the suffrage drama "Iron Jawed Angels." "I think if you do that, you're not able to be in the moment about what's really important, which to be a part of telling great stories."

Along with Foxx, "Sideways" star Paul Giamatti was nominated for best actor in a musical or comedy for his role as a loser in love on a road trip with a buddy.

Giamatti said the sad-sack character doesn't even like himself, which makes his appeal a mystery. "And he doesn't like many other people either," said the actor. "He's not particularly likable. Maybe that's what people liked about him. You don't get to see many people like that in the central role of a film ... kind of misanthropic."

The other contenders: were Jim Carrey as a man who pays to have memories of his ex-girlfriend erased in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"; Kevin Kline as composer Cole Porter in "De-Lovely" and Kevin Spacey as singer Bobby Darin in "Beyond the Sea."

Musical or comedy actress nominees included Annette Bening as a London stage diva in "Being Julia"; Ashley Judd as composer Porter's wife in "De-Lovely"; and Emmy Rossum as a musical stage ingenue in "The Phantom of the Opera."

"I got cast right before I was 17 and I'm now 18 and it's just really a thrill for me," said Rossum, who played the role of the manipulated young diva Christine. "I was thrilled to even get the part. I never thought I would and never even dreamed I would get this far with it."

Other nominees were Kate Winslet as Carrey's ex-girlfriend in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and Renee Zellweger as the title character in the romantic sequel "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason."

Contenders for best film director included Alexander Payne for "Sideways" and Martin Scorsese for "The Aviator."

"People tell me that they like the fact that the movie is just about people, that it's just a human film, a human comedy, and they find it refreshing," said Payne, director of the 2002's Golden Globe-winning "About Schmidt," who added that he's always surprised by award honors. "My filmmaking is always filled with hopefulness but certainly never certainty."

The remaining directing nominees: Clint Eastwood for "Million Dollar Baby," Marc Forster for "Finding Neverland" and Mike Nichols for "Closer."

Eastwood also was nominated for his musical score on "Million Dollar Baby."

Three of the best actress nominees for TV musical or comedy series were co-stars of ABC's smash hit "Desperate Housewives": Marcia Cross, Teri Hatcher and Felicity Huffman. The other nominees: Debra Messing of "Will & Grace" and Sarah Jessica Parker for "Sex and the City."

The best TV miniseries or movie nominees: "American Family: Journey of Dreams," "Iron Jawed Angels," "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers," "The Lion in Winter" and "Something the Lord Made."

Best TV drama series picks were "24," "Deadwood," "Lost," "Nip/Tuck" and "The Sopranos." Best comedy series nominees were "Arrested Development," "Desperate Housewives," "Entourage," "Sex and the City" and "Will & Grace."

Golden Globes are handed out by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a comparatively small group of about 90 reporters for overseas news outlets. Yet with a nationally televised awards ceremony on NBC (set for Jan. 16) and a solid knack for picking eventual Academy Awards winners, the Globes wield a fair amount of sway among the 5,800 Oscar voters.

The Globes last January correctly predicted eventual Oscar winners in all key categories, including best-picture champ "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" and actors Sean Penn, Charlize Theron, Tim Robbins and Renee Zellweger.