By The Associated Press
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – The cowboy romance “Brokeback Mountain” led the Golden Globes on Monday 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 transsexuality. Along with the victories for “Brokeback Mountain,” acting honors went to Felicity Huffman for her role as a man preparing for sex-change surgery in “Transamerica” and Philip Seymour Hoffman as gay 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,” Huffman said.
While accepting his award for “Capote,” Hoffman said, “I was given the best part of my life, basically, and I know that.”
Director Lee’s “Brokeback Mountain,” the story of two rugged Western family men (Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal) concealing their affair, has emerged as a front-runner for the Oscars, which occasionally have handed out top acting prizes for performers in homosexual or gender-bending roles but have never given the best-picture Oscar to a gay-themed film.
Oscar nominations come out Jan. 31, with the awards presented March 5.
“Brokeback Mountain” also won for best screenplay and song, “A Love That Will Never Grow Old.”
The Johnny Cash biography “Walk the Line” won the Globe for best musical or comedy film. Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon won for best actor and actress in a movie musical or comedy for the biopic that follows country legend Cash’s career and his long courtship with the love of his life, June Carter.
“This film is really important to me,” said Witherspoon, who offers a spirited performance and fine singing as Carter. “It’s about where I grew up, it’s about the music I grew up listening to, so it’s very meaningful.”
George Clooney, who was among the directing nominees for “Good Night, and Good Luck,” won the supporting-actor Globe for the oil-industry thriller “Syriana” and Rachel Weisz earned the supporting-actress prize for the murder thriller “The Constant Gardener.”
“Brokeback Mountain” won the screenplay award for Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana. McMurtry thanked his constant companion during the lonely process of writing.
“Most heartfelt, I thank my typewriter. My typewriter is a Hermes 3000, surely one of the noblest instruments of European genius,” McMurtry said.
The Palestinian film “Paradise Now,” a dark tale of two Arab friends tapped to carry out a suicide bombing in Israel, won the prize for foreign-language film.
Television 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,” Steve Carell for best comedy series actor as an incompetent boss in “The Office,” Jonathan Rhys Meyers for miniseries or movie actor as Elvis Presley in “Elvis,” and S. Epatha Merkerson 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 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,” Davis joked. “But it could have.”
Mary-Louise Parker of “Weeds” beat out the four lead actresses of “Desperate Housewives” for best actress in a comedy series. But “Desperate Housewives” did win for best musical or comedy series.
The Globes are awarded by the relatively small Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which has about 80 members, compared with the 5,800 film professionals eligible to vote for the Oscars.
Still, the Globes have an excellent track record at predicting the Oscars. Globe winners catch momentum that can boost their chances come Oscar night.