Knightley Drama `Atonement' Leads Golden Globes With 7 Nominations

Thursday, December 13th 2007, 7:56 am
By: News On 6

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) _ The British historical romance ``Atonement'' led the competition Thursday for the Golden Globes with seven nominations, among them best drama and acting honors for Keira Knightley and James McAvoy.

Other best drama nominees for the 65th Golden Globes were the crime sagas ``American Gangster,'' ``Eastern Promises'' and ``No Country for Old Men,'' the inspirational college drama ``The Great Debaters,'' the legal drama ``Michael Clayton'' and the California oil-boom epic ``There Will Be Blood.'' Seven movies were picked instead of the usual five.

Nominated for best comedy or musical were the Beatles musical ``Across the Universe,'' the foreign-policy romp ``Charlie Wilson's War,'' the Broadway adaptation ``Hairspray,'' the teen-pregnancy comedy ``Juno'' and the bloody musical ``Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.''

Adapted from the novel by Ian McEwan, ``Atonement'' earned dramatic actress and actor nominations for Knightley and McAvoy, who play lovers whose newfound romance is shattered after Knightley's jealous younger sister (Saoirse Ronan) falsely accuses McAvoy of a crime.

``Atonement'' also had nominations for Ronan as supporting actress, director for Joe Wright, screenplay for Christopher Hampton and musical score for Dario Marianelli.

No clear front-runners have yet emerged in the long buildup to the Academy Awards race, so the big nominations haul could make an early favorite out of ``Atonement,'' which just opened theatrically last week. Oscar nominations come out nine days after the Golden Globes are awarded on Jan. 13.

Joining Knightley in the dramatic actress category was Cate Blanchett for her title role as the British monarch in ``Elizabeth: The Golden Age.'' Blanchett also had a supporting-actress nomination for her gender-bending role as an incarnation of Bob Dylan in ``I'm Not There.''

Also earning two nominations was Philip Seymour Hoffman, for lead actor in a comedy or musical in the sibling tale ``The Savages'' and supporting actor for ``Charlie Wilson's War.''

A comic look at a congressman (Tom Hanks), a Texas socialite (Julia Roberts) and a slovenly CIA man (Hoffman) who engineered the covert U.S. response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, ``Charlie Wilson's War'' ran second to ``Atonement'' with five nominations.

Hanks was cited for best actor in a comedy or musical, while Roberts was nominated as supporting actress.