The glitz and glam of Hollywood geared up Sunday for one of the film industry’s biggest events, the Golden Globe Awards. This year's award season kicks off with "The King's Speech" and "The Social Network" competing for the honour of best film drama.
REUTERS - Hollywood on Sunday geared up for one of its biggest parties of the year, the Golden Globe Awards, with "The King's Speech" and "The Social Network" in a close race for the top honor, best film drama.
"The King's Speech" heads into the glitzy awards ceremony as the most nominated movie with seven nods overall, including best drama. It faces stiff competition from critics' darling "The Social Network," the Facebook film that has swept many early honors in Hollywood's awards season and comes into the Golden Globes with six nominations.
Three others hope to deliver their own knockout punch and win best drama including boxing movie "The Fighter," which had six nominations, ballet movie "Black Swan" and thriller "Inception."
The Golden Globe Awards, which are given out by the nearly 90 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, are one of the major Hollywood awards shows leading to the film industry's most-prized honors, the Oscars, which are given away by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Annually, movie fans tune in to the televised ceremony because early awards show often provide tips as to which movies, actors, actresses and others might take home Oscars.
As importantly, the top stars turn out in their finest gowns, dripping in diamonds and other jewelry, for the event that is often billed as Hollywood's biggest party.
But this year's party began with a sobering lawsuit filed last week in which a former publicist for the HFPA sued for $2 million claiming members engaged in "payola" activities like taking lavish gifts from studios in exchange for nominations.
HFPA President Philip Berk told Reuters the suit was little more than "the outpouring of a disgruntled, former employee."
The show goes on
Party atmosphere or not, the show must go on -- as the saying goes in Hollywood -- and on Sunday the red carpet had been rolled out as usual for the stars.
Unlike the Oscars, Golden Globe voters also pick best movies in a separate category for comedies or musicals, but pundits say only two nominees in that category have the critical success and the fans to compete closely for an Oscar -- lesbian family comedy "The Kids Are All Right" and fantasy "Alice in Wonderland."
The other three are critically panned "Burlesque," box office flop "The Tourist," and action movie "Red."
The race for best actress in a drama is a close one between Natalie Portman portraying a young ballerina in "The Black Swan," Nicole Kidman as a grieving mother in "The Rabbit Hole" and Michelle Williams in relationship drama "Blue Valentine." Also included in the category are newcomer Jennifer Lawrence for "Winter's Bone" and Halle Berry in "Frankie and Alice."
Best drama film actor will see Jesse Eisenberg, who portrays Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in "The Social Network," up against oddsmaker favorite Colin Firth as stammering British King George VI in "The King's Speech." The other nominees are Mark Wahlberg in "The Fighter," James Franco for "127 Hours" and Ryan Gosling in "Blue Valentine."
Golden Globe voters also give out honors in television categories. Competing for best TV drama are a few veteran shows such as "Dexter," "Mad Men" and "The Good Wife," as well as newcomers "Boardwalk Empire" and "The Walking Dead."
The best comedy race features six nominees: "Glee," "30 Rock," "The Big Bang Theory," "Modern Family," "The Big C" and "Nurse Jackie."
The Golden Globe Awards are televised live in the United States on the NBC network beginning at 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST (0100 GMT on Monday).