Miramax Films' Chicago was the big winner at the 60th annual Golden Globe, picking up three statuettes at last night's ceremony that was held amid tight security and wildly divergent Oscar predictions at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.
The musical, which grossed a stunning $8m over the weekend, won the best picture (musical/comedy) category as well as two acting awards for Renee Zellweger and Richard Gere as best actress and best actor in a musical/comedy. Zellweger, who played Roxie Hart in the film, beat her co-star Catherine Zeta-Jones who played Velma Kelly.
Meanwhile The Hours - co-financed by Paramount Pictures and Miramax - also triumphed, winning the best picture (drama) Globe as well as the best actress (drama) for Nicole Kidman.
But reflecting a year in which no clear frontrunner has emerged, three other films collected two Globes apiece.
Gangs Of New York from Miramax and Initial Entertainment Group won the best director Globe for Martin Scorsese and best song for "The Hands That Built America" by U2.
About Schmidt from New Line Cinema won the best actor (drama) prize for Jack Nicholson as well as best screenplay for Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor.
Adaptation from Columbia Pictures and Intermedia won both best supporting actor for Chris Cooper and best supporting actress for Meryl Streep.
It was a triumphant night for Miramax Films whose indomitable co-chairman Harvey Weinstein was thanked by Scorsese, Zellweger, Gere and Bono and The Edge from U2 as well as by Kidman for The Hours. However, Hours producer Scott Rudin noticeably omitted to thank Miramax in his speech, despite gushing thanks to Sherry Lansing and Paramount Pictures.
With another trophy for Elliot Goldenthal's score of Frida, Miramax's total wins was eight.
In one of the warmest receptions of the evening, Pedro Almodovar's Talk To Her from Spain won the best foreign language film Globe. Almodovar, who will be ineligible for the Academy Award category since Spain did not submit Talk To Her, was the only winner of the evening to strike a political note from the podium by calling for world peace. He received a standing ovation in response, one of only four in the evening - Scorsese, Cecil B DeMille lifetime achievement award-winner Gene Hackman and Meryl Streep were the others.
As for what the Globe wins will mean for the Oscar race, it's anybody's guess in a bewildering year. The best director was responsible for neither of the films which won best picture and the screenplay favourite - Charlie Kaufman for Adaptation - lost out to About Schmidt. Nevertheless, Kidman and Nicholson must now be considered favourites for acting Oscar nominations.
Missing out altogether were The Pianist and Far From Heaven, both from Focus Features, box office blockbuster My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Peter Jackson's The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers.
In the TV categories, it was another stunning year for HBO which scored seven awards - best TV series (musical or comedy) for Curb Your Enthusiasm, best mini-series or picture made for television for The Gathering Storm and acting awards for Edie Falco (The Sopranos), Albert Finney (The Gathering Storm), Uma Thurman (Hysterical Blindness), Kim Cattrall (Sex And The City) and Donald Sutherland (Path To War).
The other big winner in the TV categories was The Shield which was named best drama series and best actor in a drama series for Michael Chiklis. Jennifer Aniston was named best actress in a comedy series for Friends and Tony Shalhoub was best actor in a comedy series for Monk.
GOLDENGLOBE WINNERS FOR THE YEAR 2003
Best MotionPicture - Drama
Scott Rudin& Robert Fox, producers
Best MotionPicture - Musical Or Comedy
Marty Richards, producer
BestForeign Language Film
Talk ToHer (Spain)
BestPerformance By An Actress In A Motion Picture - Drama
NicoleKidman, The Hours
BestPerformance By An Actor In A Motion Picture - Drama
JackNicholson, About Schmidt
BestPerformance By An Actress In A Motion Picture - Musical Or Comedy
BestPerformance By An Actor In A Motion Picture - Musical Or Comedy
BestPerformance By An Actress In A Supporting Role In A Motion Picture
BestPerformance By An Actor In A Supporting Role In A Motion Picture
BestDirector - Motion Picture
MartinScorsese, Gangs Of New York
BestScreenplay - Motion Picture
AlexanderPayne And Jim Taylor, About Schmidt
BestOriginal Score - Motion Picture
Best OriginalSong - Motion Picture
"TheHands That Built America" - Gangs Of New York, Music & Lyrics By: U2
TelevisionSeries - Drama
TelevisionSeries - Musical Or Comedy
Actress InA Television Series - Drama
Edie Falco,The Sopranos
Actor In ATelevision Series - Drama
MichaelChiklis, The Shield
Actress InA Television Series - Musical Or Comedy
Actor In ATelevision Series - Musical Or Comedy
Mini-SeriesOr Motion Picture Made For Television
The Gathering Storm
Actress,Mini-Series Or A Motion Picture Made For Television
UmaThurman, Hysterical Blindness
Actor,Mini-Series Or A Motion Picture Made For Television
AlbertFinney, The Gathering Storm
SupportingActress, Series, Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made For Television
KimCattrall, Sex and the City
SupportingActor, Series, Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made For Television
DonaldSutherland, Path to War