LOS ANGELES • Who is taking the road to the Oscars? Hollywood's award season hopefuls will start to take shape today with the nominations for the Golden Globes - the first clear indicator of the movies and stars destined for glory.
The Globes are Tinseltown's second most important film awards and a strong bellwether for success at the season-ending Oscars.
Awards tracker Gold Derby predicts heartbreaking divorce saga Marriage Story will lead the way with six major nods.
The Netflix film portrays how a seemingly stable love can be ripped apart after Scarlett Johansson's actress character moves from New York to Los Angeles, calling in the lawyers as she separates from a narcissistic theatre director played by Adam Driver.
Hot on its heels are Martin Scorsese's gangster epic The Irishman - also from Netflix - and Quentin Tarantino's nostalgia-fest Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.
Each boasts major A-list power, with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino facing off against Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt.
With Vatican drama The Two Popes and Eddie Murphy comeback vehicle Dolemite Is My Name also on its roster, Netflix will expect to cement its place among - or atop - Hollywood's traditional studios.
"Just on sheer number of quality movies that seem to be doing well already, they should probably have the highest number," said Gold Derby analyst Chris Beachum.
Johansson could earn multiple nominations, with a supporting role in Jojo Rabbit - a controversial satire about a 10-year-old Nazi and his imaginary friend Hitler.
It is among a batch of historic, wartime-set movies pushing for honours.
Sam Mendes' trench epic 1917 and American Civil War-era Little Women have yet to hit theatres, but both are rapidly gaining momentum.
In the acting categories, Joaquin Phoenix in dark comic tale Joker and Renee Zellweger as Judy Garland in Judy are hot favourites.
But previously unheralded films could begin a surge today, as happened last year with Queen musical biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.
"The Globe voters choosing that as their best film of the year really told us... this might be doing way better than we expected," Mr Beachum said.
Despite negative reviews, star Rami Malek went on to bag the best actor Oscar.
Similarly, last year's controversial best film Oscar winner Green Book began its journey with the Globe for best drama.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association's 90-odd voters last year selected every eventual Oscar winner in a major category, except best musical score.
"They really are tastemakers and the industry watches them to see what they're going to pick," said Mr Beachum.
Unlike the Oscars, the Globes split major award categories into drama and comedy or musical.
NO SMALL MATTER
The awards also honour television. While these categories often mimic the small screen's showpiece Emmys, which take place in September, the Globes' later cut-off date can provide surprises.
Netflix's royal family drama The Crown, featuring a new cast led by Olivia Colman, will be in contention.
So will shows from Apple's new streaming service, including flagship The Morning Show, led by Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.
HBO's Succession experienced a late popularity surge during its recent second season about the back-stabbing members of a powerful New York family.
Five nominees for each category will be revealed at a pre-dawn Beverly Hills ceremony presented by Dakota Fanning, Tim Allen and Susan Kelechi Watson.
The 77th Golden Globes will take place in Los Angeles on Jan 5, hosted by Ricky Gervais.
The Oscars will be held on Feb 10.