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AWARDS NOTORIOUSLY UNPREDICTABLE

‘A Star Is Born,’ Lady Gaga poised to dominate Golden Globes

/ 01:18 AM January 07, 2019
(FILES) In this file photo US singer/actress Lady Gaga (L) and US actor/director Bradley Cooper pose on the red carpet upon arrival for the UK premiere of the film "A Star is Born" in central London on September 27, 2018. - 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. (Photo by Anthony HARVEY / AFP)

(FILES) In this file photo US singer/actress Lady Gaga (L) and US actor/director Bradley Cooper pose on the red carpet upon arrival for the UK premiere of the film “A Star is Born” in central London on September 27, 2018. – 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. (Photo by Anthony HARVEY / AFP)

LOS ANGELES — Box-office hit music romance “A Star Is Born” is the front-runner going into the 76th Golden Globe Awards on Sunday evening (Monday morning in Manila), the first Hollywood awards gala of the year and usually the sassiest of them all.

Tinseltown’s A-listers will strut down the red carpet for the first time this awards season at the Beverly Hilton in the run-up to the all-important Oscars on Feb. 24.

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Hosting the gala — which begins at 5 p.m. (0100 GMT Monday) — will be actress Sandra Oh and comedian Andy Samberg. As the only awards show where booze is served, the evening is usually more colorful than show biz’s other big nights.

“It’s going to be great. I think people are ready and could use a little smile,” Samberg told The Hollywood Reporter.

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Even though Dick Cheney biopic “Vice” leads the film nominations with six, “Star” — and its power duo of Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper — is the movie with the most buzz, and most critics predict it will take home the coveted award for best drama film.

“We’re expecting ‘A Star Is Born’ to take it down in the end, solidifying its Oscar front-runner status,” industry trade publication Variety said in its predictions.

“‘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 Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Highly unpredictable

But Dergarabedian cautioned that the Globes—which are handed out by the 90-odd members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association—were notoriously unpredictable.

“This year’s nominees across the major categories are all incredibly deserving so anything could happen,” he said.

This year, the Globes come at the start of voting for Oscar nominations. And while the Globes are not always a clear predictor of Academy Award success, they are a bellwether of momentum.

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If there is a sure bet on Sunday night, it is that Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma,” a cinematic ode to his childhood in 1970s Mexico City, will win the award for best foreign film. Cuaron is also touted to bag the best director award.

Competing against the Mexican filmmaker for the same prize are Spike Lee (“BlacKkKlansman”), Peter Farrelly (“Green Book”), Adam McKay (“Vice”) and Cooper, who made his debut directing himself behind the camera with “Star.”

For the experts polled by awards prediction website Gold Derby, “A Star Is Born” is a lock for best drama film, and Cuaron will take home the best director award.

Tight race for musical-comedy

Unlike the Oscars, the Golden Globes have parallel categories for dramas and musical-comedy films—meaning there are twice as many prizes and Oscar voters will get a chance to consider a wider range of performances.

Gaga could be a double winner, with nods for both best drama actress and best original song for the film’s hit, “Shallow.”

For best actor, Cooper—who plays an aging rocker and propels a struggling singer-songwriter (Gaga) to stardom—is locked in a duel with Rami Malek, who portrays Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

The field on the musical-comedy side is wider.

Beyond “Vice,” top contenders include offbeat royal romp “The Favourite,” civil rights dramedy “Green Book,” and Disney sequel “Mary Poppins Returns.”

Welsh actor Christian Bale, nearly unrecognizable as Cheney, is tipped to take home the best drama actor award, even if the film’s mixed reviews have damaged its overall chances.

In the race for best musical-comedy actress, Olivia Colman, who plays Queen Anne in “The Favourite,” is up against Emily Blunt, who fills the shoes of Julie Andrews as the magical British nanny.

The Globes also honor the best in television—but those awards can feel a bit redundant coming so soon after the Emmys last September, with many of the same nominees as the Television Academy field.

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