Brokeback cowboys are Globe-trotting

Ang Lee leads the way in the Golden Globe nominations

Instead of sitting back and enjoying the festive season, Tinseltown is steaming the red carpets and picking out frocks, gearing up for one of the most hotly contested award seasons on record; and it officially kicked off yesterday, with the announcement of the nominations for the 63rd annual Golden Globes.

Touted as a pre-cursor to the Oscars, the GGs are dished out by those charming people at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and this year they’ve bestowed no less than seven nominations on Ang Lee’s lassoing drama Brokeback Mountain.

The much anticipated flick nabbed nods for Best Drama, Best Director and Best Actor for Heath Ledger’s performance as a gay cowboy. Ledger’s co-star Michelle Williams is on the shortlist for Best Supporting Actress and Lee’s moving tale also received noms for Best Screenplay and Best Score.

After a summer which saw Hollywood getting its fingers burned on the blockbuster front, the Globe’s chose to tip its hat to the indie crowd. Sharing the Best Film Drama category with Brokeback Mountain are George Clooney’s McCarthy era drama Good Night, And Good Luck, David Cronenberg’s tension-cranker A History of Violence, Woody Allen’s brooding drama Match Point and Fernando Meirelles’ audience-gripper The Constant Gardener.

Philip Berk, president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association stated: “This is the first time in the history of the Golden Globes that all of the best dramatic film nominees are independent movies made for under $30 million.”

The best actress in a musical or comedy category sees Dame Judi Dench (Mrs Henderson Presents) nabbing her sixth Globe nomination and squaring off against fellow Brit Keira Knightley (Pride & Prejudice).

Knightley said “I phoned my mum and said I'd been nominated and she said, 'Oh, that's lovely. You won't win, but that's lovely'.”