Sunday's Golden Globes to offer a galaxy of stars, even if it lacks the Force

The 73rd annual Golden Globes will hope its assemblage of Hollywood stars, from Jennifer Lawrence to Leonardo DiCaprio, will be enough to offset the absence of a different kind of star.

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Though "Star Wars" is again packing movie theatres and smashing box office records, J.J. Abrams' "The Force Awakens" will be a conspicuous outsider at Sunday night's Globes, which announced nominations a few days before the film was screened in mid-December. That, surely, will be one of the things host Ricky Gervais needles the Hollywood Foreign Press Association about at the Beverly Hills, Calif., ceremony, which kicks off at 8 p.m. EST, live on CTV.

Gervais will host for the fourth time, returning after a much-lauded three-year stint by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. After a 10-year ratings high three years ago, viewership has dipped slightly since, with an audience of 19.3 million tuning in last year.

That, though, is still very strong for the Golden Globes, which have worked to shed an image of eccentric selections made by a group of little-known international journalists. The Globes have instead grown into one of the most popular award show broadcasts of the year, thanks to increasingly credible nominees, its trademark laid-back atmosphere and its unique position as a major awards show that honours both film and television.

Going into Sunday night, Todd Haynes' 1950s romance "Carol" leads all nominees with five nods, including best picture (drama) and best actress for both of its leads, Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. In the best picture category, it will compete with "Spotlight," "The Revenant," "Room" and "Mad Max: Fury Road."

Adam McKay's finance farce "The Big Short" tops the comedy side with four nominations, including best picture (comedy) and nods for Steve Carell and Christian Bale. The category's favourite, though, may be Ridley Scott's sci-fi adventure "The Martian." The two films are nominated alongside "Joy," "Spy" and "Trainwreck."

The Golden Globes have little correlation with the Academy Awards, which will announce their nominees next Thursday. But momentum is a cherished commodity during awards season -- especially this year, when the Oscar field is seen by many as wide open, without a runaway favourite.

Netflix earned a leading eight nods on the TV side, where nominations were scattered across streaming services, broadcast and cable. Six shows come in tied for the most nominations with three: "Fargo," "Mr. Robot," "Outlander," "Transparent," "American Crime" and "Wolf Hall."

Presenters at Sunday night's Globes will include Jim Carrey, Amy Adams, Helen Mirren, Kurt Russell, Jamie Foxx, Eddie Redmayne, Channing Tatum and Mel Gibson, who is returning to the Hollywood spotlight after keeping a low profile for almost a decade, following an explosive drunken-driving arrest and public custody dispute.


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