| Michael Thurston |
LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Hollywood is holding its breath ahead of Sunday’s Golden Globes, with dark comedy “Birdman” leading the race for awards glory ahead of next month’s all-important Oscars.
While an eve-of-show computer glitch appeared to suggest two other films could take the top prizes, “Birdman” is still in strong position, earning a string of accolades and other nominations leading up to the Globes.
Unusually rainy weather looks set to dampen the arrival of A-listers on the red carpet in Beverly Hills for the Globes, second only to the Oscars in terms of Tinseltown awards buzz.
“Birdman”, which stars former “Batman” Michael Keaton as a washed-up film actor trying to revive his career on stage, has earned the most nominations with seven.
Coming-of-age drama “Boyhood” and Nazi code-breaking thriller “The Imitation Game” starring Britain’s Benedict Cumberbatch are also hotly tipped to take home trophies with five nods apiece.
British actors feature strongly at the Globes: Cumberbatch and his co-star Keira Knightley are among a batch of British nominees in both the film and television categories.
Comic actresses Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will be hosting the show for the third straight year at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where the festivities will begin at 5pm (0100 GMT Monday).
Some industry experts have highlighted the lack of a clear frontrunner, in contrast to previous years like in 2012, when “The Artist” had a virtual lock on Best Picture prizes straight through to the Oscars.
“It seems like a real toss-up,” Tom Nunan of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television told AFP, adding that actors in this year’s race had all turned in “career-best performances”.
This year’s crop of nominated movies is heavy on true stories: four of the five Globes best drama contenders are based on real-life events.
Among the historical figures featured are British geniuses Stephen Hawking and Alan Turing, and Martin Luther King Jr. In the best musical or comedy category, the widely acclaimed “Birdman” still seems to be the film to beat.
The movie also earned nods for best actor for Keaton, best supporting actor (Edward Norton), best supporting actress (Emma Stone) and best director (Mexico’s Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu).
Barely 48 hours before the curtain goes up for the 72nd Globes ceremony, a website glitch appeared to suggest that “Selma” and “Into the Woods” could be set for best film honours.
The films were briefly posted on the Globes website as winning the best drama and best musical/comedy film awards, before the captions were taken down, according to industry journal Variety. A spokesman said the films were chosen “randomly” from nominees’ lists as Web technicians fine-tuned the website ahead of the show, and that the captions should not have been live.