January 21, 2003 12:02 PM

The Golden Globes have been handed out, but for the studios behind “Chicago,” “The Hours” and other big winners, the Oscar jockeying continues.

Ballots for Academy Award nominations are due on Jan. 29, and Sunday night’s awards may have helped (or hurt) the chances of quite a few movies. Meanwhile, Jack Nicholson and Nicole Kidman might consider polishing up Oscar acceptance speeches, and Richard Gere and Renee Zellweger could give them good runs for their money.

Or rather, for their studios’ money — as Oscar advertising and promotional campaigns are expensive.

The money gets paid back, however, “The Golden Globes validate the films that won,” Paul Dergarabedian, president of Exhibitor Relations, tells The New York Times. “Moviegoers who want to see the films that will be prominent in the Oscars will now say, ‘Well, ‘The Hours’ and ‘Chicago’ are the ones we ought to see first.”

“Chicago,” the big screen adaptation of Bob Fosse’s 1975 Broadway production, was named best picture in a musical or comedy at the Globes, while Richard Gere was named best actor and Renee Zellweger best actress for their roles in the film.

“The Hours” was named best dramatic picture, and it also netted Nicole Kidman a best actress trophy for her role as author Virginia Woolf.

Jack Nicholson was named best actor in a drama for his restrained role as a newly widowed Midwestern retiree in “About Schmidt.”

In addition to “The Hours,” three other pictures won two Globes each. They were “Adaptation,” for supporting players Meryl Streep and Chris Cooper; “About Schmidt,” which, besides Nicholson’s award, received the Globe for screenwriting; and “Gangs of New York,” for director Martin Scorsese and the U2 song “The Hands That Built America.”

The win for director Scorsese, 60, was especially key, given the film’s mixed reception. Over the weekend it was also announced that the director of such classics as “Raging Bull” and “GoodFellas” would receive the Directors Guild of America’s lifetime achievement award during its 55th annual awards ceremony on March 1.

As Miramax honcho Harvey Weinstein told The New York Times, “Do you know that this man — one of the greatest filmmakers in the world, one of the greatest filmmakers in history — had never won an Oscar or a Golden Globe until (Sunday night)? After this, I’m making it my mission to see that Marty gets an Oscar nomination for (‘Gangs of New York’).”

•Check out the list of Golden Globe winners.

•PEOPLE.com’s complete coverage of the Golden Globes.

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