BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) – A truly international lineup of films and performers was in contention at Monday night’s Golden Globes, with “Babel,” “The Queen,” “The Last King of Scotland” and “Borat” up for honors in the run-up to the Academy Awards.

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s “Babel,” a saga of families on three continents linked by tragic events in the African desert, led with seven nominations, including best drama and supporting-acting honors for Brad Pitt, Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikuchi.

Martin Scorsese’s mob movie “The Departed” was next with six nominations, including best drama and best actor for Leonardo DiCaprio, who had a second lead-actor nomination for the African adventure “Blood Diamond.”

There was no clear front-runner for the best-drama prize. Other nominees were the Robert Kennedy tale “Bobby,” the suburban comic drama “Little Children” and the British-royalty story “The Queen.”

The musical “Dreamgirls” looked like a favorite to win the best musical or comedy Globe, though Sacha Baron Cohen’s raucous satire “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” also was a strong contender.

The other musical or comedy nominees were the fashion-business comedy “The Devil Wears Prada,” the road-trip romp “Little Miss Sunshine” and the tobacco-industry satire “Thank You for Smoking.”

Helen Mirren was the clear favorite for best dramatic actress as Elizabeth II in “The Queen.” Forest Whitaker was heavily favored for dramatic actor as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in “The Last King of Scotland,” though Peter O’Toole had strong prospects as a lecherous old actor in “Venus.”

Warren Beatty was to receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was to present the best drama award, the last of the evening, despite being under doctor’s orders to limit appearances while he recovers from a broken leg. The actor-turned-politician won a “new star” Golden Globe in 1977 for “Stay Hungry” and was nominated in 1995 for “Junior.”

As Hollywood’s second-biggest film honors, the Globes are something of a dress rehearsal for the Oscars, whose nominations come out Jan. 23. The Oscar ceremony will be on Feb. 25.

While the Oscars are a formal, dignified affair in a theater, the Globes are looser, with stars, filmmakers and studio bosses sharing drinks and dinner at tables in a hotel ballroom.

“You have within a very small circle all the most important people in Hollywood,” said Philip Berk, who heads the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which awards the Globes. “There’s liquor on the table and wine. We serve a fabulous meal. But once the show begins, the actual process of the awards is very serious.”

The foreign press group has roughly 85 members, while about 5,800 film professionals are eligible to vote for the Oscars.

Yet the group has a strong history of forecasting eventual Academy Awards winners and providing momentum for certain movies and stars as Oscar voters begin to cast their ballots.

Such Globe best-picture winners as “Shakespeare in Love,” “American Beauty,” “Gladiator” and “Chicago” went on to win the same prize at the Oscars. Globe voters were off target the past two years, anointing 2004’s “The Aviator” as best drama, a prize that went to “Million Dollar Baby” at the Oscars, and 2005’s “Brokeback Mountain,” which lost to “Crash” come Oscar night.

But all four of 2005’s acting recipients at the Oscars – Philip Seymour Hoffman, Reese Witherspoon, George Clooney and Rachel Weisz – also won Golden Globes.

Nominations for the Oscars closed Saturday, so the outcome of the Globes cannot affect who gets nominated.