- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 17, 2006

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — The homosexual cowboy romance “Brokeback Mountain” led the Golden Globes yesterday with four prizes, including best dramatic film and the directing honor for Ang Lee.

It was a triumphant night for films dealing with homosexuality and gender-bending.

Along with the victories for “Brokeback Mountain,” acting honors went to Felicity Huffman in a role as a man preparing for sex-change surgery in “Transamerica” and Philip Seymour Hoffman as author Truman Capote in “Capote.”

“I know as actors our job is usually to shed our skins, but I think as people our job is to become who we really are, and so I would like to salute the men and women who brave ostracism, alienation and a life lived on the margins to become who they really are,” Miss Huffman said.

The other award winners shied away from political speechmaking.

In accepting his best director award, Mr. Lee made only an oblique reference to “the power of movies to change the way we’re thinking,” and producers James Schamus and Diana Ossana said nothing about sexual or other politics when “Brokeback Mountain” won for best film.

Mr. Hoffman did not mention Mr. Capote’s homosexuality or the culture wars in his acceptance speech.

The four victories, which also included trophies for script and song, make “Brokeback Mountain” a front-runner for the Academy Award nominations, which will be announced Jan. 31. The awards are given March 5.

The Johnny Cash biopic “Walk the Line” won the Globe for best musical or comedy film, and its lead actors Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon swept the awards for acting in musicals or comedies.

The Globe audience clapped along to the Cash song “I Walk the Line” as Mr. Phoenix took the stage.

“Who would ever have thought that I would win in the comedy or musical category?” said Mr. Phoenix, poking fun at his image for dark, brooding roles. “Not expected.”

“This film is really important to me,” said Miss Witherspoon, who — like Mr. Phoenix did — performed her own singing in the role of June Carter Cash. “It’s about where I grew up, it’s about the music I grew up listening to, so it’s very meaningful.”

George Clooney won the supporting-actor prize for the oil-industry thriller “Syriana,” and Rachel Weisz earned the supporting-actress award for the pharmaceutical-industry thriller “The Constant Gardener.”

“Syriana” spins a convoluted story of multiple characters caught up in a web of deceit, greed, corruption and power-brokering over Middle Eastern oil supplies.

Mr. Clooney thanked writer-director Stephen Gaghan for a movie “that asks a lot of difficult questions and also a studio that was willing take this on.”

On the television side, Mary-Louise Parker of “Weeds” beat out the four lead actresses of “Desperate Housewives” for best actress in a comedy series, although “Desperate Housewives” did win for best musical or comedy series.

The other TV winners included Geena Davis for best drama series actress as the U.S. president in “Commander in Chief,” Hugh Laurie for drama series actor as a cranky, pill-popping doctor in “House,” and Steve Carell for best comedy series actor as an incompetent boss in “The Office.”

Jonathan Rhys Meyers won for miniseries or movie actor as Elvis Presley in “Elvis,” and S. Epatha Merkerson won for miniseries or movie actress as a boarding-house proprietor who takes in an outcast teen in “Lackawanna Blues.”

“This is really wonderful for a fledgling little show like ours,” said Miss Davis, who added that a little girl coming into the Globes stopped her to say, “Because of you I want to be president some day.

“Well, that didn’t actually happen,” she joked. “But it could have.”

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