GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS Bening, 'Closer' stars take home trophies for acting
'Nip/Tuck' won for best dramatic TV series, and a Peter Sellers biopic won for best TV movie.
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) -- Annette Bening of the showbiz comedy "Being Julia" and Clive Owen and Natalie Portman of the sex drama "Closer" won Golden Globes on Sunday, boosting their prospects for the upcoming Academy Awards.
Bening won for best actress in a movie musical or comedy, playing an aging stage diva in 1930s London who plots gleeful revenge against the men in her life.
Backstage, Bening said that while Hollywood economics is geared toward roles for younger actresses, she said there are filmmakers eager to present tales of older women.
"I think there's no question that sexism exists, but I think that as long as people are willing to fight and create interesting stories that involve women of all different ages, then the movies will get made," Bening said.
Portman's and Owen's wins as supporting players in a film were something of a surprise, with contenders such as Morgan Freeman for "Million Dollar Baby" and Cate Blanchett for "The Aviator" considered more likely favorites beforehand.
Owen and Portman offered profuse thanks to "Closer" director Mike Nichols.
"Mike Nichols I love you, you're the nicest, smartest, wisest daddy -- friend, rock star," Portman said.
"Wow," Owen said. "Huge thanks to Mike Nichols, who gave me the opportunity and guided us through the film so brilliantly."
The oddball romance "Sideways," the Howard Hughes epic "The Aviator" and the boxing drama "Million Dollar Baby" were among key contenders at the Globes. "Sideways" won the screenplay honor for Jim Taylor and director Alexander Payne.
Jamie Foxx, considered a front-runner for the best-actor Academy Award for the title role in the Ray Charles film biography "Ray," was another favorite with a record three Globe nominations. But Foxx lost in his first two categories, to Owen for supporting movie actor and to Geoffrey Rush of "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers" for actor in a TV movie or miniseries.
"Sideways" had a leading seven nominations, including best musical or comedy film. Lead actor Paul Giamatti and director Payne also had nominations.
Among dramas, "The Aviator" led with six nominations, including best picture, director for Martin Scorsese and lead actor for Leonardo DiCaprio.
Spain's "The Sea Inside" -- starring Javier Bardem in the real-life story of Ramon Sampedro, a paralyzed man who fought a decades-long battle for his right to die -- was picked as best foreign-language film.
Teri Hatcher of "Desperate Housewives" beat her show's co-stars Marcia Cross and Felicity Huffman for best actress in a TV musical or comedy.
"Nip/Tuck" won for best dramatic TV series, while "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers" took the Globe for best TV movie or miniseries and Jason Bateman of "Arrested Development" was honored as best actor in a comedy series.
Other television winners included Mariska Hargitay of "Law & amp; Order: Special Victims Unit" as dramatic actress, Ian McShane as dramatic actor for "Deadwood," Anjelica Huston as supporting actress for the suffrage film "Iron Jawed Angels," and William Shatner as supporting actor for "Boston Legal."
The Globes are awarded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
Yet the Globes historically serve as a solid forecast that helps set the odds for subsequent film honors.
Golden Globe winners gain attention that can put them on the inside track for prizes from acting, directing and other filmmaking guilds, momentum that often sticks with them right through Oscar night