Hollywood's A-listers will hit the red carpet Sunday for the Golden Globes, the glitzy start to the entertainment industry's awards season, with popular music romance "A Star Is Born" the overwhelming favorite for top honors.
Even though Dick Cheney biopic "Vice" leads the nominations with six, it looks likely that "Star" - and its power duo of Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper - will be the film that seizes the momentum ahead of next month's all-important Oscars.
"'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, told AFP.
But he cautioned that the Globes - which are handed out by the 90-odd members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association - are notoriously unpredictable.
"That's what makes them so entertaining," he said. "This year's nominees across the major categories are all incredibly deserving so anything could happen."
This year, the Globes come at the start of voting for Oscar nominations, and while they are not a clear predictor of Academy Award success, they are a bellwether of momentum.
"There's almost always an element of surprise somewhere at the major award shows," says Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at boxoffice.com.
"'A Star Is Born' seems to be a favorite for best drama at the Globes, but it's hard to rule out an upset by a film like 'Black Panther' or possibly even 'BlacKkKlansman'."
If there is a sure bet on Sunday night at the Beverly Hilton, it is that Alfonso Cuaron's heartfelt "Roma," a cinematic ode to his childhood in 1970s Mexico City, will take home honors for best foreign film. He is also up for best director.
"Cuaron is riding a huge wave of critical raves for 'Roma' and if there is any such thing as a frontrunner when it comes to the Globes, this is it," says Dergarabedian.
Competing against the Mexican filmmaker for the best director prize are Spike Lee ("BlacKkKlansman"), Peter Farrelly ("Green Book"), Adam McKay ("Vice") and Cooper, who made his debut behind the camera with "Star," directing himself.
For the experts polled by awards prediction website Gold Derby, "A Star Is Born" is a lock for best drama film, but Cuaron will take home top director honors.
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