'The Lord of the Rings' and 'Lost in Translation' win big at Golden Globe Awards

Monday, January 26th 2004, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) _ After seven years, it was time for a Hobbit victory dance.

``The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,'' the final installment of the epic fantasy trilogy that hadn't yet won most major movie awards, finally snared best dramatic film and three other trophies at Sunday's Golden Globes.

But some of the night's thunder also went to the intimate story ``Lost in Translation,'' about two lonely Americans who find friendship in a Tokyo hotel. That movie collected three top awards, including best comedy film, best comedy actor for Bill Murray _ his first major acting prize _ and best screenplay for Sofia Coppola, who wrote, produced and directed the film.

``Rings'' master Peter Jackson was recognized as best director, and the film _ based on the J.R.R. Tolkien novels _ won best original score and best song for ``Into the West.''

``Really, I just want to accept this award and pay tribute to professor Tolkien for his incredible book,'' said Jackson, who began preparing to film the trilogy in 1997.

``I never realized that seven years on this movie would end up turning me into a Hobbit,'' Jackson said when collecting the director award, referring to the shortish, big-footed magical characters in the Tolkien stories. ``To all of the actors, our magical cast, you just gave so much to the movies and equally importantly you made it so much fun to work on.''

Among TV nominees, HBO's six-hour adaptation of playwright Tony Kushner's ``Angels in America'' won five trophies, including best miniseries or TV movie.

The Golden Globes, voted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, is regarded by many in Hollywood as one of the year's biggest parties, but it's also a way to generate front-runner buzz for the Academy Awards.

The show's highlight may have been the acceptance speech by the notoriously sardonic Murray, who thanked Coppola before dryly mocking Hollywood award speeches, declaring he had fired all his agents and representatives and had no one else to thank.

He also poked fun at the idea that comedy performers are overshadowed by dramatic stars. ``Too often we forget our brothers on the other side of the aisle _ the dramatic actors,'' he said. ``I'd just like to say: Where would our war, our miseries and our psychological dramas come from?''

Coppola, collecting the best screenplay trophy, thanked her father _ ``The Godfather'' director and co-writer Francis Ford Coppola, calling him ``a great screenwriting teacher.''

Diane Keaton as an older woman in love in ``Something's Gotta Give'' collected a Golden Globe for lead comedy performances, and thanked director Nancy Myers and co-star Jack Nicholson for making a romance about people over 50. ``With hope as our light at the end of the tunnel, we made our unlikely alliance work in the name of love at any age,'' Keaton said.

Sean Penn collected the dramatic actor award for playing an emotionally ravaged father seeking revenge for his daughter's murder in ``Mystic River,'' and Charlize Theron won the drama actress honor for ``Monster,'' the story of a serial killer.

Tim Robbins' supporting role as a grown child-abuse survivor suspected of murder in ``Mystic River'' earned him the first trophy of the telecast. Renee Zellweger received the supporting actress award for playing a tough-as-bark backwoods woman in ``Cold Mountain.'' She previously won two lead comedy actress Golden Globes for ``Nurse Betty'' in 2001 and last year for ``Chicago.''

Besides winning best TV movie or miniseries, ``Angels in America'' won four performing awards. Co-star Meryl Streep and Al Pacino were picked best TV movie lead performers and supporting TV honors went to Jeffrey Wright and Mary-Louise Parker.

Among the nominees Wright beat out: his ``Angels in America'' co-stars Ben Shenkman and Patrick Wilson. ``I share this with you,'' he told them from the stage. ``But I'll keep it at my house.''

Fox's real-time thriller ``24'' won best drama series, and BBC America's ``The Office,'' which stars co-creator Ricky Gervais as an annoying boss at a British paper merchant, was picked best comedy show. The critically lauded ``The Office'' is being developed into an American version.

``Osama,'' Afghanistan's first movie since the fall of the Taliban regime, won the Golden Globe for foreign-language film. The movie tells the story of a girl who, under hardline Islamic Taliban rules, has to pose as a boy so she can leave home to work.

The honorary Cecil B. DeMille Award went to Michael Douglas, whose actor father, Kirk Douglas, received the honor in 1968. ``My father couldn't make it here tonight, but if Kirk was here I would acknowledge him for his stamina, for his endurance and for his great sense of material,'' Douglas said.

The Globes event came just two days before Tuesday morning's announcement of the Oscar nominations. The Oscar ceremony is set for Feb. 29, about three weeks earlier than previous years.