January 6, 2019 1:30 pm
Updated: January 6, 2019 7:40 pm

Golden Globes return with Lady Gaga, ‘A Star is Born’ expected to win big

WATCH: 2019 Golden Globes Predictions

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A year after the Golden Globe Awards were awash in a sea of black and #MeToo discussion replaced fashion chatter, the red carpet largely returned to more typical colours and conversation ahead of Sunday’s 76th annual Globes.

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Some attendees were spotted wearing ribbons that read TIMESUPx2, to highlight the second year of the gender equality campaign that last year organized the Globes black-clad demonstration. Rachel Brosnahan, the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel star, was among those wearing a Time’s Up bracelet.

READ MORE: 2019 Golden Globe nominations: The TV and movie nominees are…

But most of the actresses streaming into the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Sunday were dressed in the kinds of gowns and sparkle that usually accompany the awards show.

The 2018 Globes were the first major televised awards in Hollywood following the downfall of Harvey Weinstein and the subsequent push for greater gender equality in the film industry. This year, both attendees and the night’s hosts — Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh — have signalled they’re planning a more celebratory and less serious evening.

For the Globes, that’s a return to form. What the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s ceremony lacks in gravitas it usually makes up for in freewheeling frivolity and fun. The free-flowing booze helps.

WATCH: Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh Talk Golden Globes

This year’s show, which will be broadcast live on NBC following an hour of red-carpet pre-show coverage, likely has awards in store for Bradley Cooper’s Oscar front-runner A Star Is Born, Yorgos Lanthimos’ period romp The Favourite, the Amazon comedy series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Ryan Murphy’s anthology series The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.

Lady Gaga is poised to win not just one but two awards, for best actress in a drama and for the song “Shallow,” from A Star Is Born. (Gaga, who won a Globe in 2016 for her American Horror Story: Hotel performance, would still fall short of the three Globes won by Barbra Streisand for the 1976 version of A Star Is Born.  Aside from acting and singing, Streisand was also a producer and thus shared in the best picture win.)

READ MORE: Sandra Oh, Andy Samberg to host 2019 Golden Globes

But Sunday’s ceremony might hinge most on just what kind of party the Globes can muster this year. Last year’s ceremony was atypically serious for the Globes, with presenter Natalie Portman pointedly introducing the “all male” directing nominees.

A year later, little dust has settled. Hollywood remains consumed with gender inequality and highly placed men have continued to fall. This year’s best director nominees are also all male again.

How much these subjects will be discussed in the broadcast, to be hosted by the unexpected pairing of Samberg and Oh, is unknown. Samberg and Oh have said they’re hoping to set a lively and carefree tone . Oh, the star of the BBC America drama series Killing Eve, is also a nominee.

WATCH: 2019 Golden Globe Awards Red Carpet Rollout

Last year’s show, like a lot of recent awards shows, saw ratings decline. Some 19 million tuned in to the Seth Meyers-hosted broadcast, an 11-per cent decline in viewership.

This year, NBC has one thing in its favour: an NFL lead in. Ahead of the Globes, NBC is broadcasting the late afternoon wild card game between the Chicago Bears and the Philadelphia Eagles.

Nominees that have been in sizable box office hits may also potentially help the Globes, none more than Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther, up for best picture (drama) and score. A Star is Born, which is expected to dominate the drama side of the movie awards, recently passed $200 million in domestic ticket sales.

READ MORE: ‘Aquaman’ continues reign, but ‘Escape Room’ takes 2nd place at North American box office

Adam McKay’s highly critical Dick Cheney portrait Vice, starring Christian Bale, comes in with a leading six nominations. While music-heavy films A Star Is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody opted to contend in the Globes’ drama categories, Vice tops the comedy-musical nominees, though it’s closely trailed by multiple nominees, including The Favourite and Green Book, Peter Farrelly’s interracial road trip tale starring Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali.

At stake are not just Golden Globes awards but Oscar momentum. Voting for the Academy Awards nominations begins Monday.

Jeff Bridges will receive the Globes’ honorary Cecil B. DeMille Award. A similar television achievement award is also being launched, dubbed the Carol Burnett Award. Its first honoree will be Burnett, herself.

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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