The Associated Press
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - Two films filled with strong female roles triumphed at the Golden Globe Awards as the jazz-belting lady prisoners of "Chicago" won best musical-comedy and "The Hours" claimed best drama for its tale of women seeking solace in the work of suicidal author Virginia Woolf.
"I say to the writers, please keep writing for us, we're very interesting," Nicole Kidman said after winning best dramatic actress for her role as Woolf. "And to the directors, please keep taking chances and giving us complicated, rich characters to play."
Kidman's award Sunday night marked her second consecutive Golden Globe after her win last year for "Moulin Rouge" in the musical-comedy class. She also won in 1996 for "To Die For."
"Chicago" star Renee Zellweger won best musical-comedy actress for her role as murderer and wannabe cabaret singer Roxy Hart. Zellweger had a previous win in the category for 2001's "Nurse Betty."
Kidman and Zellweger each bested co-stars: Meryl Streep from "The Hours" and Catherine Zeta-Jones from "Chicago." Streep did win supporting actress honors for playing a fictionalized version of author Susan Orlean in "Adaptation."
The TV category for best drama and comedy marked an upset by edgy cable shows. "The Shield" won best TV drama, upsetting such major shows as "The Sopranos" and "The West Wing," and its star, Michael Chiklis, was named best actor in a drama series. His Golden Globe follows his surprise Emmy victory last year for playing a rogue cop on the violent, profanity-laced series on the little-watched FX cable channel.
HBO's acerbic sitcom "Curb Your Enthusiasm" won best TV comedy series over "Sex and the City," "Friends" "The Simpsons" and "Will & Grace."
The Golden Globes ceremony, hosted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, is considered by some to be a barometer for the upcoming Academy Award nominations in February.
Jack Nicholson won best dramatic actor for "About Schmidt."
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Many of the nominated films, including "The Hours" and "Adaptation," have been unavailable in most parts of the country as studios waited to do wide-releases closer to the awards ceremony and next month's Oscar nominations. Nominated crowd-pleasing hits such as "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" and "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" were shut out at the Globes.
Richard Gere won best comedy-musical actor for playing a flashy lawyer in "Chicago," while best dramatic actor honors went to Jack Nicholson's performance as a disheveled retiree trying to change as he nears the end of his life in "About Schmidt."
"I always do films that are a bit difficult and not down the middle of the street," Nicholson said backstage, adding: "I threw out my vanity."
"Adaptation" co-star Chris Cooper received the supporting actor prize for playing the stringy-haired and toothless orchid poacher chronicled in Orlean's book.
Renee Zellweger is embraced by co-star Richard Gere and presenter Arnold Schwarzenegger after winning for best performance by an actress in a motion picture-musical or comedy.
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Martin Scorsese received the best director award for the Civil War-era immigrant saga "Gangs of New York," a film he had wanted to make for decades that, once completed, was delayed for more than a year by Miramax Films.
"I was 7 years old when I first heard the stories about this time and it's taken about, I don't know, some forty-something years to get it done," he said.
Irish rockers U2 won the best movie song award for "The Hands That Built America" from "Gangs of New York" and composer Elliot Goldenthal received the best original score award for "Frida." Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor won the screenplay award for "About Schmidt," adapted from the novel by Louis Begley.
The Pedro Almodovar-directed Spanish drama "Talk to Her," about two men in love with comatose women in the same hospital, was chosen best foreign film.
Gene Hackman accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award, which honors the star of "The Conversation" and "Crimson Tide" for his career spanning more than 80 films. His roles in "The French Connection" and "Unforgiven" won him both Golden Globes and Academy Awards, and he received an additional Golden Globe honor last year for the comedy "The Royal Tenenbaums."
Golden Globe honors are chosen by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's roughly 90 members, who cover Hollywood for overseas publications.
Hollywood Foreign Press Association: http://www.hfpa.org/
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