Spielberg eyes gold as Hollywood gathers for Globes
Hollywood's finest began gathering Sunday for the Golden Globes, with Steven Spielberg's political drama "Lincoln" favored for top prizes at Tinseltown's biggest pre-Oscars awards show.
All eyes were on the red carpet ahead of the show, at which Spielberg's film has seven nominations, ahead of Ben Affleck's Iran drama "Argo" and Quentin Tarantino's spaghetti Western tribute "Django Unchained," both with five nods.
Taiwanese-American Ang Lee is also up for best movie with his sumptuous 3D adventure "Life of Pi," as is Oscar-winning Kathryn Bigelow's controversial Osama bin Laden manhunt movie "Zero Dark Thirty."
The three-hour Globes telecast, beamed live around the world, starts at 5:00 pm Sunday (0100 GMT Monday), and is preceded by a couple of hours of red carpet action as Hollywood's A-listers strut their stuff.
The Globes, which also include television category awards, are generally more relaxed than the more prestigious Academy Awards, with a party atmosphere usually steeped in alcohol served before, and during, the show.
"It's our job to keep things moving, and also try to get the movie stars more liquored-up so that hopefully someone's boob will fall out of a dress," said co-host comedian Tina Fey.
Spielberg's presidential biopic won a major boost just days before Sunday's show, when it topped the nominations announced Thursday for the all-important Academy Awards next month, shortlisted in 12 Oscar categories.
"Lincoln" star Daniel Day-Lewis is favorite for best actor, against Denzel Washington for piloting "Flight" while drunk, Richard Gere for "Arbitrage," John Hawkes for "The Sessions" and Joaquin Phoenix for "The Master."
Best actress is slightly more open: Jessica Chastain is widely favored for her role as a CIA agent relentlessly tracking bin Laden in "Zero Dark Thirty," while France's Marion Cotillard has drawn praise for for "Rust and Bone."
But Britain's Helen Mirren is also a strong contender as a cinema legend's wife in "Hitchcock." Also in the running are Naomi Watts for Indian Ocean tsunami drama "The Impossible" and Rachel Weisz for "The Deep Blue Sea."
Other drama films tipped include Tom Hooper's musical adaptation "Les Miserables," dark romantic-comedy "Silver Linings Playbook" and "Zero Dark Thirty," which tied for third place with four Globes nods.
The awards are voted on by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a group of fewer than 100 members seen as more celebrity-driven than the esteemed Academy of Motion and Picture Arts and Sciences, whose show is on February 24.
Reflecting the perhaps less high-brow taste of the HFPA, Ang Lee's "Life of Pi," which picked up 11 Oscar nominations, is running in only three Globes categories.
On the comedy and musical front, best film nominees are Indian-themed "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," "Silver Linings Playbook," "Les Miserables," "Moonrise Kingdom" and "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen," starring Ewan McGregor.
Best comedy/music actor nods went to Jack Black for "Bernie," "Hangover" star Bradley Cooper for "Silver Linings," Australian Hugh Jackman for "Les Mis," McGregor for "Salmon Fishing" and Bill Murray for "Hyde Park on Hudson."
Three British actresses are shortlisted for best comedy or musical turns: Emily Blunt for "Salmon Fishing," Judi Dench for "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" and fellow veteran Maggie Smith for "Quartet."
On the small screen, multiple award-winning British period drama "Downton Abbey" was nominated for best drama, against "Breaking Bad," "Boardwalk Empire," spy thriller series "Homeland" and "The Newsroom."