Just going by past history and conventional wisdom, "A Beautiful Mind" looks like the front-runner for this year's best picture Oscar -- after winning four Golden Globe Awards, including one for best movie drama.
Director Ron Howard's account of the life of schizophrenic Nobel Prize winning mathematician John Nash also won for best actor in a drama (Russell Crowe), best supporting actress (Jennifer Connelly) and best screenplay (Akiva Goldsman).
The top Oscar has gone to a Golden Globe winner in all but three of the last 16 years. That kind of track record gets the attention of odds makers during the awards season, but there is a wild card this year that might make handicapping the Oscars a little trickier than usual.
"Black Hawk Down" -- director Ridley Scott's recreation of the U.S. military misadventure in Somalia in 1993 -- was not up for any Golden Globes, apparently because it was not submitted in time for consideration before the nominations were announced. Hollywood observers can only wonder how Academy members will regard the picture as they consider their votes for this year's Oscar nominations.
A MAN OF FEW WORDS
Harrison Ford has specialized in playing taciturn men who prefer action to extensive dialogue -- and that's how he appeared Sunday night as he collected the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Cecil B. DeMille Award for career achievement.
"My luck is holding out," he said in his acceptance speech. "I'm in a category where the competition is dead."
Speaking with reporters backstage, the star of the "Indiana Jones" trilogy and the first three "Star Wars" movies said he expects to make movies for another 20 years.
"This is a great business to grow older in," he said. "It's not like the rodeo."
A reporter asked Ford what was going through his mind as he watched the montage of clips that was shown in tribute to his movie career.
"I wondered why I wasn't better in what I was seeing," he said. "It's very hard to look backward over a period of time and be happy with what you're doing. The pleasure in this work is in the doing, not the looking back."
Looking ahead, Ford speculated -- in response to a question -- about the prospect for another "Indiana Jones" movie.
"There's one left in me," he said. "I think the question is whether there is one left in (producer) George (Lucas) and (director) Steven (Spielberg). I'm looking forward to it."
RON HOWARD'S LAMENT?
Ron Howard might be excused if he is wondering what he has to do to impress his colleagues, after being passed over again for a top directing award -- even though his movie, "A Beautiful Mind," was named best drama movie at the Golden Globe Awards.
Howard, who has been one of Hollywood's most successful directors since "Night Shift" established his credentials 20 years ago, has only one major award to show for his work -- a Directors Guild of America award for the 1995 space drama, "Apollo 13." And even that high point in Howard's career had a curious down side -- since the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences did not see fit to nominate him for best director that year.
It's the only instance in the history of the DGA awards that the winner for best feature director was not at least nominated for a best director Oscar. Mel Gibson won the directing Oscar for "Braveheart."
If Howard is so inclined -- although as a life-long show business veteran, he probably doesn't fret about such things -- he could be going through some serious cognitive dissonance over Robert Altman's almost cavalier reaction to winning the Golden Globe for best director.
"I don't know what a best director is, except someone who stands in the same space with the best actors," said the director of "Gosford Park" -- a murder mystery set in an English country estate. "I feel that they do the work and I get to watch."
Altman also credited his success to "kind of a foolproof script" by Julian Fellowes.
SECOND GENERATION SCORES AT GOLDEN GLOBES
Kiefer Sutherland -- the 35-year-old son of three-time Golden Globe nominee Donald Sutherland -- was named best actor in a TV drama for the Fox political-thriller "24." Donald Sutherland was 36 when he was nominated for best actor in a musical or comedy in 1970 for "M*A*S*H." He was also nominated for best actor in a drama movie in 1980 for "Ordinary People" and best supporting actor in a drama movie in 1998 for "Without Limits."
Charlie Sheen -- the 36-year-old son of Golden Globe winner Martin Sheen -- won for best actor in a comedy series. Martin Sheen won the Golden Globe last year for best actor in a drama series for "The West Wing," and was nominated for a Golden Globe for best supporting actor in a movie for "The Subject Was Roses" in 1968 -- when he was just 28.
The younger Sheen -- who has gone through well-publicized substance abuse problems -- was stunned by his Golden Globe win.
"This is so surreal," he said in his televised acceptance speech. "This is like a sober acid trip."
IT'S THE THOUGHT THAT COUNTS
Major award nominees will tell you it's an honor just to be nominated, but being a presenter on the Golden Globes or the Oscars telecasts has its own -- more tangible -- rewards.
Take, for example, the gift bag that was handed out to presenters at the 59th Annual Golden Globe Awards.
Ben Affleck, Michael Caine, Cameron Diaz, Mel Gibson, Kelsey Grammer, Tom Hanks, Sarah Jessica Parker, Martin Sheen and the other presenters did not get paid for the gig, so the Hollywood Foreign Press Association put together quite a loot bag to express its gratitude for their participation.
The package included Microsoft's new X-Box game system, two first-class plane tickets, his-and-hers luxury watches and a bottle stopper valued at $250.
'RINGS' HAS GOOD NIGHT AT SATELLITE AWARDS
"Moulin Rouge," which won three Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, had an even better night at the 6th Annual Golden Satellite Awards -- winning seven trophies, including best comedy or musical motion picture.
"A Beautiful Mind" -- which won four Golden Globes -- picked up only one Golden Satellite. Jennifer Connelly won for best supporting actress in a drama.
The Golden Satellite Awards are presented by the International Press Academy, formed in 1996 by a group of journalists that split with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor were named best actress and actor in a musical or comedy movie for "Moulin Rouge," which also won for best director (Baz Luhrmann), supporting actor in a comedy or musical (Jim Broadbent), original score, original song ("All Love Can Be"), art direction and costume design.
The IPA named "In the Bedroom" best drama movie and honored its star, Sissy Spacek, as best actress in a drama for her portrayal of a woman coping with the tragic death of a son. "In the Bedroom" also won for best-adapted screenplay.
Brian Cox was named best actor in a drama for his portrayal of an honorable pedophile in "L.I.E."
"The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" -- which went away empty-handed at the Golden Globe Awards even though it had four nominations -- fared better at the Golden Satellites, winning four awards, including best motion picture, animated or mixed media. The first of director Peter Jackson's movie adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien's literary trilogy also won for best visual effects, editing and sound.
In the TV categories, the IPA named "24" best TV drama series and "Sex and the City" best comedy series.
COMEDY CENTRAL WILL CRANK OUT 'YANKERS'
Comedy Central has ordered 10 episodes of "Crank Yankers," a new comedy show from the same people who brought you "The Man Show."
The new show is scheduled to premiere on June 2 at 10 p.m.
'ANDROMEDA' GOES ON
The syndicated sci-fi series "Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda" will be around for two more seasons.
Producers have commitments to produce a third and fourth season of the show, starring Kevin Sorbo ("Hercules") as the captain of an interplanetary ship dedicated to restoring order and civilization to the known universe.
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