(CNN) -- "Atonement," the drama based on the Ian McEwan novel about a shattered love affair, led all films with seven nominations at Thursday's announcement for the 65th annual Golden Globes.
"Atonement" stars Romola Garai, foreground, and Keira Knightley and James McAvoy.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which oversees the awards, nominated seven films in the best drama category. Aside from "Atonement," the other nominees are "American Gangster," "Eastern Promises," "The Great Debaters," "Michael Clayton," "No Country for Old Men" and "There Will Be Blood."
"Atonement" stars Keira Knightley and James McAvoy received nominations in lead acting categories, and co-star Saoirse Ronan earned a nomination for supporting actress. Director Joe Wright, screenwriter Christopher Hampton and composer Dario Marianelli also received nods.
Second to "Atonement" with five nominations was "Charlie Wilson's War," the Mike Nichols film about an American congressman who becomes immersed in the Cold War. The legal drama "Michael Clayton" and the Coen brothers' coldhearted Western "No Country for Old Men" earned four nominations each, including a supporting actor nod for Javier Bardem, who plays a brutal killer. Watch the announcement »
Ethan and Joel Cohen earned nominations for both their direction and screenplay of "No Country for Old Men," based on the Cormac McCarthy novel.
Julian Schnabel ("The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"), Tim Burton ("Sweeney Todd") and Ridley Scott ("American Gangster") round out the directing category.
"Working with the Coens has always been a dream of mine, and to be recognized for my work in one of their films is truly an honor. Muchas gracias to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association," Bardem said in a statement.
Along with McAvoy, George Clooney ("Michael Clayton"), Daniel Day-Lewis ("There Will Be Blood"), Viggo Mortensen ("Eastern Promises") and Denzel Washington ("American Gangster") received nominations for best actor in a drama.
Besides Knightley, best actress in a drama nominees included Cate Blanchett ("Elizabeth: The Golden Age"), Julie Christie ("Away From Her"), Jodie Foster ("The Brave One") and Angelina Jolie ("A Mighty Heart"). Watch how star power is driving the Globes »
Blanchett also was nominated for best supporting actress for her turn as a version of Bob Dylan in "I'm Not There."
"Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," based on the Tony Award-winning musical by Stephen Sondheim, earned nominations for best comedy or musical, for director Burton and its two leads, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter.
Other nominees for best comedy or musical are "Across the Universe," "Charlie Wilson's War," "Hairspray" and "Juno."
Ryan Gosling ("Lars and the Real Girl"), Tom Hanks ("Charlie Wilson's War"), Philip Seymour Hoffman ("The Savages") and John C. Reilly ("Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story") also earned lead acting nominations for a comedy or musical.
The other nominees for best actress in a comedy/musical are Amy Adams ("Enchanted"), Nikki Blonsky ("Hairspray"), Marion Cotillard ("La Vie en Rose") and Ellen Page ("Juno").
Hoffman received a best supporting actor nomination as well, for "Charlie Wilson's War."
Many nominees were, of course, thrilled.
"I'm going to work at 8 a.m. with Mr. Clint Eastwood and Angelina Jolie, so maybe Angelina and I will have a holler and a hoot together," Amy Ryan, nominated for supporting actress for "Gone Baby Gone," told The Associated Press.
The Globes are often considered a forecaster for the Academy Awards. In this light, "Atonement," which was released nationally last week, has received a boost.
However, the Globes gave short shrift to a number of films and performers considered strong Oscar possibilities, including Tommy Lee Jones (for both "No Country" and "In the Valley of Elah"), Sean Penn and Emile Hirsch (director and star of "Into the Wild") and "The Kite Runner," which received two nominations (one for best foreign-language film) but no best drama nod. The latter, which is getting a big awards push, opens Friday.
The Oscar nominations will be announced January 22; the awards are scheduled for February 24.
The Globes also honor television programs. Among the leading nominees: "Damages," with four nominations; "30 Rock," with three nominations; and the new show "Pushing Daisies," also with three nods.
One award is certain: Steven Spielberg will receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award for his "outstanding contribution to the entertainment field" from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the Globes organization.
The press association, which votes for the awards, is a group of about 85 people who cover film for international and overseas organizations.
The strike by the Writers Guild of America, whose members walked off the job in November over a variety of issues, including Internet revenues, may complicate the awards broadcast. Many awards shows are written under guild contract, and the Globes may need dispensation to use writers for the show. Watch how the strike could complicate matters »
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the HFPA is considering telling stars, who might be reluctant to cross the writers' picket line, to support the strike by coming to the Globes and perhaps speak out in favor of the writers on the show.
The Globes are scheduled to be awarded January 13 at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California. E-mail to a friend
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