Box office hit music romance A Star Is Born is the frontrunner going into Sunday’s Golden Globes, the first Hollywood awards gala of the year – and usually the sassiest of them all.
Tinseltown’s A-listers will strut down the red carpet for the first time this awards season at the Beverly Hilton, in the run-up to the all-important Oscars on February 24.
Hosting the gala will be actress Sandra Oh and comedian Andy Samberg. As the only awards show where alcohol is served, the evening is usually more colorful than showbiz’s other big nights.
“It’s going to be great. I think people are ready and could use a little smile,” Samberg said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
Even though Dick Cheney biopic Vice leads the film nominations with six, Star – and its power duo of Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper – is the movie with the most buzz heading into Sunday night, and most critics predict it will take home the coveted best drama film honors.
“We’re expecting A Star Is Born to take it down in the end, solidifying its Oscar frontrunner status,” industry trade publication Variety said in its predictions.
“A Star is Born has everything going for it including box office and critical success,” Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst at industry data firm ComScore, said.
But he cautioned that the Globes – which are handed out by the 90-odd members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association – are notoriously unpredictable.
“This year’s nominees across the major categories are all incredibly deserving so anything could happen,” Dergarabedian said.
This year, the Globes come at the start of voting for Oscar nominations, and while they are not always a clear predictor of Academy Award success, they are a bellwether of momentum.
Tight race for musical/comedy Globes
Unlike the Oscars, the Golden Globes have parallel categories for dramas and musical/comedy films – meaning two times the prizes, and a chance for Oscar voters to consider a wider range of performances.
Gaga could be a double winner, with nods for both best drama actress and best original song for the film’s mega-hit, Shallow.
For best actor, Cooper – who plays the aging rocker who discovers a struggling singer-songwriter (Gaga) and propels her to stardom – is locked in a duel with Rami Malek, who portrays Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody.
The field on the musical/comedy side is wider.
Beyond Vice, top contenders include offbeat royal romp The Favourite, civil rights dramedy Green Book and Disney sequel Mary Poppins Returns.
Welsh actor Christian Bale, nearly unrecognisable as Cheney, is tipped to take home best actor honors, even if the film’s mixed reviews have damaged its overall chances.