- The Washington Times - Monday, January 20, 2003

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. The sultry jazz musical "Chicago" won the Golden Globe for best musical comedy yesterday while "The Hours" was honored as best film drama.
Dramatic performance honors went to Jack Nicholson for playing a depressed retiree in "About Schmidt" and Nicole Kidman for her role as suicidal writer Virginia Woolf in "The Hours."
"I don't know whether to be happy or ashamed because I thought we made a comedy," Mr. Nicholson said. The tragicomic "About Schmidt" features him as an aging man searching for meaning at the end of his life.
Miss Kidman, who disguised her face with prosthetics for the role, said she was just glad "The Hours" was made into a film. "It was a tricky movie in terms of the subject matter," she said.
"Chicago" co-stars Renee Zellweger and Richard Gere won for best musical-comedy acting, and Meryl Streep and Chris Cooper received supporting performer honors for the loopy screenwriting comedy "Adaptation."
Martin Scorsese received the best director for the 19th-century 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.
"Maybe 'dream come true' is a cliche because cliches are true. But it really is," he said.
Miss Zellweger, who played a star-struck prisoner in "Chicago" trying to beat a murder charge, thanked co-star Catherine Zeta-Jones, whom she beat in the category. "You're a goddess, and I'm so glad the world now knows what you can do," Miss Zellweger told her while onstage.
"I'm literally totally shocked. I don't win anything," said Mr. Gere, who played a slick lawyer in the musical. "And I didn't even want to do this movie. That's what I know."
Miss Streep, a frequent awards recipient who also was nominated in the dramatic-actress category for her work in "The Hours," said she wasn't prepared to win for "Adaptation."
"Oh my God, I've just been nominated 789 times, and I was getting so settled over there for a long winter's nap," she said. "I didn't have anything prepared because it's been like [since] the Pleistocene era that I won anything."
The actress last won a Golden Globe in 1983, for "Sophie's Choice." (She has won two others, for "The French Lieutenant's Woman" in 1982 and "Kramer vs. Kramer" in 1980.)
Blending reality and fiction, "Adaptation" follows the agonized efforts of screenwriter Charlie Kaufman as he adapts author Susan Orlean's book "The Orchid Thief" for the screen. Mr. Kaufman jokingly fantasizes in the film's climax that Miss Orlean was a drug-crazed, would-be killer.
"Susan Orlean, I apologize for the second half," said Miss Streep, who portrayed the author in the film.
Mr. Cooper, who played a stringy-haired and toothless orchid poacher chronicled in Miss Orlean's book, offered his thanks, saying: "You've given millions and millions of stringy-haired and toothless people a lot of hope."
Jennifer Aniston won the best TV comedy actress award for NBC's "Friends," while Tony Shalhoub received the TV comedy actor's prize for the USA detective show "Monk."
HBO's acerbic sitcom "Curb Your Enthusiasm" won best TV comedy series.
Gene Hackman was chosen to receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award, which honors the star of "The Conversation" and "Crimson Tide" for his career, which spans nearly 80 films.
Many of the nominated films have been unavailable in most parts of the country as studios waited to do wide releases closer to the awards ceremony and the Oscar nominations.
The ceremony is hosted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and the awards are considered by some as predictors for the Academy Award nominations next month.
The Golden Globes, broadcast live on NBC, is renowned as one of Hollywood's biggest parties, where participants are encouraged to be spontaneous and irreverent.

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