December 18, 2003 05:09 PM

“Cold Mountain” got a warm reception from the Golden Globes on Thursday, as the Civil War romance picked up a leading eight nominations, including best drama, best director (Anthony Minghella) and nods for all three of its stars — Nicole Kidman, Jude Law and Renee Zellweger.

While industry analysts are debating how “Cold Mountain” might fare at the box office — given that, except for “Gone with the Wind,” Civil War pictures tend to do poorly — the film came away the overwhelming frontrunner for the Globes, which will be handed out Jan. 25.

Following with five nominations apiece were Clint Eastwood’s somber “Mystic River” and Sofia Coppola’s “Lost in Translation” — with comedic performance nominees Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, who also was nominated for her dramatic role in “Girl with a Pearl Earring.”

Besides “Mountain” and “River,” best movie drama contenders are “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World,” “Seabiscuit” and, with four nominations in all (including best director, Peter Jackson), “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.”

Director Tim Burton’s offbeat “Big Fish” also earned four nods, including best musical or comedy. Its competitors are “Finding Nemo,” “Lost in Translation,” “Bend It Like Beckham” and “Love Actually.”

Murray, Johansson, Johnny Depp (“Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl”) and surprise nominee Jack Black (“School of Rock”) joined veterans Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton (both for “Something’s Gotta Give”) and Helen Mirren (“Calendar Girls”) in the leading comedic performance categories, along with Billy Bob Thornton (“Bad Santa”), Jamie Lee Curtis (“Freaky Friday”) and Diane Lane (“Under the Tuscan Sun”).

Nominations for best actress in a drama went to Cate Blanchett (“Veronica Guerin”), Kidman, Johansson, Charlize Theron (“Monster”), Uma Thurman (“Kill Bill — Vol. I”) and Evan Rachel Wood (“Thirteen”).

Russell Crowe (“Master and Commander”), Tom Cruise (“The Last Samurai”), Ben Kingsley (“House of Sand and Fog”) and Sean Penn (“Mystic River”) will compete against Law for best actor in a dramatic film.

In the TV division, only Matt LeBlanc scored among the “Friends” contingent, while the HBO miniseries “Angels in America” filled many of the acting spots that might otherwise have gone to cast members of the perennial favorite, “The West Wing” — though that show’s star, Martin Sheen, was nominated as lead actor in a dramatic series. (“Wing”‘s traditional rival, “The Sopranos,” was not eligible this year, because of the scheduling of its last season.)

Noteworthy, perhaps, is that CBS’s embattled miniseries, “The Reagans,” which the network ended up selling to the Showtime cable network, garnered acting nominations for both of its stars, James Brolin and Judy Davis.

The Golden Globe nominations and winners are selected by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a group of about 90 journalists who cover entertainment for foreign-based media outlets — although, as has been exposed, several of these journalists earn their livings as parking attendants and at other non-industry temp jobs.

The Globes also aren’t necessarily considered a harbinger of the Oscars. Last year Richard Gere won a Globe for his performance in “Chicago,” only to be completely overlooked by the movie academy.

NBC will broadcast the 61st annual Globes ceremony Jan. 25, two days before the Oscar nominations are announced. (The Academy Awards broadcast will be held Feb. 29.)

Here’s a rundown of the major nominees:

Best Film, Drama
“Cold Mountain”
“Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”
“Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World”
“Mystic River”

Best Film, Comedy/Musical
“Bend it Like Beckham”
“Big Fish”
“Finding Nemo”
“Lost in Translation”
“Love Actually”

Best Actor, Drama
Russell Crowe, “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World”
Tom Cruise, “The Last Samurai”
Ben Kingsley, “House of Sand and Fog”
Jude Law, “Cold Mountain”
Sean Penn, “Mystic River”

Best Actress, Drama
Cate Blanchett, “Veronica Guerin”
Nicole Kidman, “Cold Mountain”
Scarlett Johansson, “Girl with a Pearl Earring”
Charlize Theron, “Monster”
Uma Thurman, “Kill Bill — Vol. 1”
Evan Rachel Wood, “Thirteen”

Best Actor, Comedy/Musical
Jack Nicholson, “Something’s Gotta Give”
Jack Black, “School of Rock”
Bill Murray, “Lost in Translation”
Billy Bob Thornton, “Bad Santa”
Johnny Depp, “Pirates of the Caribbean”

Best Actress, Comedy/Musical
Jamie Lee Curtis, “Freaky Friday”
Scarlett Johansson, “Lost in Translation”
Diane Keaton, “Something’s Gotta Give”
Diane Lane, “Under the Tuscan Sun”
Helen Mirren, “Calendar Girls”

Best Supporting Actor
Alec Baldwin, “The Cooler”
Albert Finney, “Big Fish”
William H. Macy, “Seabiscuit”
Tim Robbins, “Mystic River”
Ken Watanabe, “The Last Samurai”
Peter Sarsgaard, “Shattered Glass”

Best Supporting Actress
Maria Bello, “The Cooler”
Patricia Clarkson, “Pieces of April”
Hope Davis, “American Splendor”
Holly Hunter, “Thirteen”
Renee Zellweger, “Cold Mountain”

Best Director
Sofia Coppola, “Lost in Translation”
Clint Eastwood, “Mystic River”
Peter Jackson, “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”
Anthony Minghella, “Cold Mountain”
Peter Weir, “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World”

Best Screenplay
Sofia Coppola, “Lost in Translation”
Richard Curtis, “Love Actually”
Brian Helgeland, “Mystic River”
Jim Sheridan, Naomi Sheridan and Kirsten Sheridan, “In America”
Anthony Minghella, “Cold Mountain”

Best Foreign Language Film
“The Barbarian Invasions” (French Canada)
“Goodbye, Lenin” (Germany)
“Osama” (Afghanistan)
“The Return” (Russia)
“Monsieur Ibrahim” (France)

Best Original Score
Alexandre Desplat, “Girl with a Pearl Earring”
Danny Elfman, “Big Fish”
Howard Shore, “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”
Gabriel Yared, “Cold Mountain”
Hans Zimmer, “The Last Samurai”

Best Original Song
“The Heart of Every Girl,” Elton John and Bernie Taupin (“Mona Lisa Smile”)
“Into the West,” Howard Shore, Fran Walsh and Annie Lennox (“The Lord of the Rings”)
“Man of the Hour,” Eddie Vedder (“Big Fish”)
“Time Enough for Tears,” Bono, Gavin Friday and Maurice Seezer (“In America”)
“You Will Be My Ain True Love,” Sting (“Cold Mountain”)

Best Series, Drama
“CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”
“The West Wing”
“Six Feet Under”

Best Series, Comedy/Musical
“Arrested Development”
“The Office”
“Sex and the City”
“Will & Grace”

Best Miniseries or TV Movie
“Angels in America”
“My House in Umbria”
“Soldier’s Girl”
“Tennessee Williams’ The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone”

Best Actor, Drama
Michael Chiklis, “The Shield”
Anthony Lapaglia, “Without a Trace”
William Peterson “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”
Martin Sheen, “The West Wing”
Kiefer Sutherland, “24”

Best Actress, Drama
Frances Conroy, “Six Feet Under”
Jennifer Garner, “Alias”
Allison Janney, “The West Wing”
Joely Richardson, “Nip/Tuck”
Amber Tamblyn, “Joan of Arcadia”

Best Actor, Comedy/Musical
Ricky Gervais, “The Office”
Matt LeBlanc, “Friends”
Bernie Mac, “The Bernie Mac Show”
Eric McCormack, “Will & Grace”
Tony Shalhoub, “Monk”

Best Actress, Comedy/Musical
Bonnie Hunt, “Life with Bonnie”
Reba McEntire, “Reba”
Debra Messing, “Will & Grace”
Sarah Jessica Parker, “Sex and the City”
Bitty Schram, “Monk”
Alicia Silverstone, “Miss Match”

Best Actor, Miniseries or TV Movie
Antonio Banderas, “And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself”
James Brolin, “The Reagans”
Troy Garity, “Soldier’s Girl”
Al Pacino, “Angels in America”
Tom Wilkinson, “Normal”

Best Actress, Miniseries or TV Movie
Judy Davis, “The Reagans”
Jessica Lange, “Normal”
Helen Mirren, “Tennessee Williams’ The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone”
Maggie Smith, “My House in Umbria”
Meryl Streep, “Angels in America”

Best Supporting Actor
Sean Hayes, “Will & Grace”
Lee Pace, “Soldier’s Girl”
Ben Shenkman, “Angels in America”
Patrick Wilson, “Angels in America”
Jeffrey Wright, “Angels in America”

Best Supporting Actress
Kim Cattrall, “Sex and the City”
Kristin Davis, “Sex and the City”
Megan Mullally, “Will & Grace”
Cynthia Nixon, “Sex and the City”
Mary Louise Parker, “Angels in America”

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