BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - The British historical romance

Atonement

led the competition for the Golden Globes with seven nominations yesterday, including best drama and acting honors for Keira Knightley and James McAvoy.

The foreign-policy romp

Charlie Wilson's War

, which opens nationwide next Friday, ran second to

Atonement

with five nominations. Among double nominees were Cate Blanchett, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Clint Eastwood and Eddie Vedder, who received bids for song and score - as did Eastwood.

Besides

Atonement,

the best-drama nominees for the 65th Golden Globes were the crime sagas

American Gangster,

Eastern Promises

and

No Country for Old Men

, the inspirational college drama

The Great Debaters

, the legal drama

Michael Clayton

and the California oil-boom epic

There Will Be Blood

.

Because of a tie in voting, seven dramatic nominees were picked, rather than five.

Nominated for best comedy or musical along with

Charlie Wilson's War

were the Beatles musical

Across the Universe

, the Broadway adaptation

Hairspray

, the comedy

Juno

and the bloody musical S

weeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

.

No clear favorites

No clear front-runners have yet emerged in the buildup to the Academy Awards race, so the big nominations haul could make an early favorite of

Atonement

, which just opened theatrically last week. Oscar nominations come out nine days after the Golden Globes ceremony Jan. 13. (The Oscars will be presented Feb. 24.)

Joining Knightley in the dramatic-actress category was Blanchett for her title role as the British monarch in

Elizabeth: The Golden Age

. Blanchett also had a supporting-actress nomination for her gender-bending role as an incarnation of Bob Dylan in

I'm Not There

.

Also earning two nominations was Hoffman, for lead actor in a comedy or musical in the sibling tale

The Savages

and supporting actor for

Charlie Wilson's War

.

Charlie Wilson's War

is a comic look at a congressman (Tom Hanks), a Texas socialite (Julia Roberts), and a slovenly CIA man (Hoffman) who engineered the covert U.S. response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Washington up for acting

Denzel Washington, director of

The Great Debaters

, was nominated for best dramatic actor for

American Gangster

, in which he plays a 1970s Harlem heroin baron.

Along with Washington and McAvoy, dramatic-actor nominees were George Clooney as a conscience-torn lawyer in

Michael Clayton

, Daniel Day-Lewis as an oil tycoon in early 20th-century California in

There Will Be Blood,

and Viggo Mortensen as a Russian mobster in

Eastern Promises

.

Also in the dramatic-actress category were Julie Christie as a woman succumbing to Alzheimer's in

Away From Her

, Jodie Foster as a Manhattan vigilante in

The Brave One

, and Angelina Jolie as journalist Mariane Pearl in

A Mighty Heart

.

Complicating this latest season of Hollywood backslapping is a strike by the Writers Guild of America, whose members walked off the job in November over their share of potential profits from programming distributed over the Internet.

Many awards shows are written under guild contract, so it remains unclear how the strike might affect the ceremonies, which are scheduled to be broadcast live on NBC.