"Benjamin Button," "Frost/Nixon" lead Golden Globes

Thu Dec 11, 2008 5:27pm EST
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By Bob Tourtellotte

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif (Reuters) - A wide variety of films from heart-rending "Slumdog Millionaire" to tension-filled "Frost/Nixon" shared the spotlight of Golden Globe nominations on Thursday as Hollywood marched toward the Oscars.

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," about a man who ages backward, and "Frost/Nixon," which recounts the interviews of disgraced U.S. President Richard Nixon by British journalist David Frost, each earned five nominations including best film drama to lead the nominees.

"It's a really good morning," "Frost/Nixon" director Ron Howard told Reuters. "We need this kind of acknowledgment to cut through the clutter" of numerous holiday films.

"Benjamin Button" and "Frost/Nixon" were joined in the race for best movie drama by "Slumdog Millionaire," about a poor Indian man competing for love and money on a TV game show, and relationship sagas "Revolutionary Road" and "The Reader."

Unlike 2007 when dark dramas like "No Country for Old Men" and "There Will Be Blood" dominated Hollywood's awards season, this year's list of competing movies is notable for entries like the ultimately uplifting "Slumdog."

"Our (lead character) has no hope, no qualifications and yet he has the ferocity and purity of his dreams," said "Slumdog" director Danny Boyle. "He hijacks the game show for reasons of purity and love and that's a great story to tell."

"Doubt," a tale of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, tied "Benjamin Button" and "Frost/Nixon" with five nominations, but was shut out of the race for best film drama.

Also excluded from best film races were "Milk," with Sean Penn playing slain gay rights activist Harvey Milk, and Batman flick "The Dark Knight." "Milk" did, however, earn a nomination for Penn as best actor and "Dark Knight" provided a nomination for the late Heath Ledger in the supporting actor category.   Continued...

<p>Actors Frank Langella and Michael Sheen are shown in a scene from the Universal Studios film "Frost/Nixon" in this undated publicity photo released to Reuters November 25, 2008. REUTERS/Ralph Nelson/Universal Studios/Handout</p>