Hollywood awards race revs up at risky, raucous Golden Globes

(From left) Actors Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith.
(From left) Actors Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith. PHOTO: REUTERS
(From left) Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (left) and Jason Stratham arriving at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards.
(From left) Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (left) and Jason Stratham arriving at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards. PHOTO: REUTERS
(From left) Actresses Melissa Benoist, Jennifer Lawrence, Malin Akerman and Emmy Rossum arriving at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards.
(From left) Actresses Melissa Benoist, Jennifer Lawrence, Malin Akerman and Emmy Rossum arriving at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards. PHOTOS: REUTERS, AFP
Actor Matt Damon and his wife, Luciana Barroso.
Actor Matt Damon and his wife, Luciana Barroso. PHOTO: REUTERS
Director Quentin Tarantino (left) and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin arriving at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards.
Director Quentin Tarantino (left) and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin arriving at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards. PHOTO: REUTERS
(From left) Actresses Saoirse Ronan, Emilia Clarke and Rachel McAdams arriving at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards.
(From left) Actresses Saoirse Ronan, Emilia Clarke and Rachel McAdams arriving at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards. PHOTOS: REUTERS, AFP
(From left) Actress Cate Blanchett, and actors Kirsten Dunst and Garrett Hedlund arriving at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards.
(From left) Actress Cate Blanchett, and actors Kirsten Dunst and Garrett Hedlund arriving at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards. PHOTO: REUTERS, AFP
Actor Christian Bale and his wife, actress Sibi Blazic.
Actor Christian Bale and his wife, actress Sibi Blazic. PHOTO: REUTERS
(From left) Actresses Kate Bosworth, Rooney Mara, Kate Hudson, Regina King arriving at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards.
(From left) Actresses Kate Bosworth, Rooney Mara, Kate Hudson, Regina King arriving at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards. PHOTOS: REUTERS, AFP, EPA
(From left) Actresses Jane Fonda, Melissa McCarthy, Calista Flockhart and singer Katy Perry arriving at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards.
(From left) Actresses Jane Fonda, Melissa McCarthy, Calista Flockhart and singer Katy Perry arriving at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards. PHOTOS: REUTERS, AFP
Actor Steve Carell and his wife Nancy arriving at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards.
Actor Steve Carell and his wife Nancy arriving at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards. PHOTO: REUTERS
(From left) Actresses Bryce Dallas Howard, Michaela Watkins, Jane Wu and TV personality Giuliana Rancic arriving at the 73rd annual Golden Globe Awards.
(From left) Actresses Bryce Dallas Howard, Michaela Watkins, Jane Wu and TV personality Giuliana Rancic arriving at the 73rd annual Golden Globe Awards.PHOTOS: REUTERS, AFP
(From left) Kai Nordberg, Klaus Haro, Mart Avandi and Kaarle Aho from the Finnish film The Fencer arriving at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards.
(From left) Kai Nordberg, Klaus Haro, Mart Avandi and Kaarle Aho from the Finnish film The Fencer arriving at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards. PHOTO: REUTERS
(From left) Actress Judith Light and TV personalities Maria Menounos, Keltie Knight and Nancy O'Dell arriving at the 73rd annual Golden Globe Awards.
(From left) Actress Judith Light and TV personalities Maria Menounos, Keltie Knight and Nancy O'Dell arriving at the 73rd annual Golden Globe Awards. PHOTOS: REUTERS, AFP
(From left) Actor Ken Jeong and his wife, Tran Jeong, actor Alan Cumming, and TV personality Ross Mathews arriving at the Golden Globe Awards.
(From left) Actor Ken Jeong and his wife, Tran Jeong, actor Alan Cumming, and TV personality Ross Mathews arriving at the Golden Globe Awards. PHOTOS: REUTERS, AFP
Actor David Hasselhoff arriving at the Golden Globe Awards.
Actor David Hasselhoff arriving at the Golden Globe Awards.PHOTO: AFP
Actor Chris Tucker (right) and a guest arriving at the 73rd annual Golden Globe Awards.
Actor Chris Tucker (right) and a guest arriving at the 73rd annual Golden Globe Awards. PHOTO: REUTERS
Singer Sam Smith arriving at the 73rd annual Golden Globe Awards.
Singer Sam Smith arriving at the 73rd annual Golden Globe Awards. PHOTO: REUTERS
Journalists Al Roker (left) and Matt Lauer arriving at the Golden Globe Awards.
Journalists Al Roker (left) and Matt Lauer arriving at the Golden Globe Awards. PHOTO: REUTERS
Representatives of Ernst & Young carrying suitcases filled with names of the Golden Globe winners.
Representatives of Ernst & Young carrying suitcases filled with names of the Golden Globe winners.PHOTO: AFP
British comedian Ricky Gervais presenting an award at the 2014 Emmy Awards in Los Angeles.
British comedian Ricky Gervais presenting an award at the 2014 Emmy Awards in Los Angeles.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEVERLY HILLS (REUTERS) - Hollywood's awards season kicks off  on Sunday (Monday 9am Singapore time) in the form of a star-studded and often raucous party, as film and television's biggest names and nervous newcomers converge at the Golden Globe awards.

A win by Leonardo DiCaprio for his rugged turn in pioneer tale The Revenant could foreshadow a long-sought best actor Oscar. The night could also mint emerging talent like actresses Brie Larson and twice-nominated Alicia Vikander and test their red-carpet readiness.

But many will tune in for the irreverent host, British comedian Ricky Gervais, who makes his return after a three-year absence. After the 2012 gig, at which he called the Globes "just like the Oscars, but without all that esteem", he said he did not want to be persuaded to do it again.

The soiree, held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, is often described as the rowdier counterpart to February's Oscars ceremony, the pinnacle of Hollywood's awards season and an event steeped in tradition and elegance.

Organised and voted for by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the Globes serve up free-flowing champagne and a smattering of after-parties at the same hotel, allowing stars to let their hair down and relax.

"The Golden Globes has always been a place where it's not about conforming," Stefano Tonchi, editor of W Magazine, told Reuters. "There's a certain kind of appreciation for difference and for taking risks."

Gervais alone amps up the risk factor with his customary barbs at his peers and the industry. And then there are nominees like Amy Schumer, Hollywood's latest "it-girl" who has forged a reputation with her sharp, sassy and no-holds-barred comedy.

Lesbian romance Carol leads the drama film category with five nominations, while Wall Street fraud tale The Big Short leads comedy film with four nods.

In television, streaming shows such as Netflix drug drama Narcos and Amazon's transgender comedy Transparent have dominated key categories, giving established broadcasters serious competition.

The nominees reflect a varied field this year with no clear frontrunners, from action blockbusters such as Mad Max: Fury Road and The Martian to intimate indies such as Room and Spotlight.

For rising actors like Larson, best drama actress nominee for Room, the Globes platform could be their first official awards "audition" that can determine how they fare in the race to the Oscars.

"It's all over-exciting and overwhelming and I've never experienced it before so I'm just trying to take it one step at a time," Larson told Reuters last week. "I haven't had a moment for it to all sink in yet."