LOS ANGELES - The Golden Globes kick off the show business awards season on Sunday with Hollywood apparently in the mood for a party, and with plenty to celebrate.
After a record $41.7 billion global movie box-office in 2018, crowd-pleasers like "A Star is Born," "Black Panther," "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Mary Poppins Returns" are competing for Golden Globe honors.
This year, the boozy, informal dinner in Beverly Hills, organized by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, is expected to leave politics behind.
'Time to laugh'
Golden Globe hosts Andy Samberg and "Killing Eve" nominated actress Sandra Oh say they are aiming for a fun evening.
"Everyone is depressed and maybe that's as good a reason as any that everyone could use a little time to laugh and celebrate," Samberg told the Hollywood Reporter.
Oh said she is "not interested at all" in talking about U.S. President Donald Trump, who has been a focus of attacks at award shows since his 2016 election campaign.
Last year's Golden Globes were marked by celebrities turning out en masse in black in solidarity with the #MeToo sexual harassment scandal that was roiling Hollywood.
"After Trump's election and #MeToo, people felt like they had to speak up," said Tim Gray, awards editor at Hollywood publication Variety.
"This year it's, 'let's celebrate the work'. They are looking forward to the fun of the Globes," Gray added.
'Vice' leads with six nominations
Lady Gaga, Idris Elba, Bradley Cooper and veteran Dick Van Dyke will be among dozens of famous faces turning out on Sunday.
Scathing comedy "Vice," about former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, has a leading six nominations, including for actors Christian Bale, Sam Rockwell and Amy Adams.
But competition is strong for the best comedy or musical statuette, with historical romp "The Favourite," romantic comedy "Crazy Rich Asians," 1960s road trip "Green Book" and "Mary Poppins Returns" all vying for honors.
"'Vice' director Adam McKay really takes chances with that movie. Sometimes he goes too far, and some people love it and some people are having a hard time with it," said Gray.
Pop star Gaga and actor-director Cooper are seen taking home statuettes for "A Star is Born," with Gaga's version of "Shallow" widely viewed as a shoo-in for best original song.
Musicals vie for top drama
Despite being musicals, both "A Star is Born" and "Bohemian Rhapsody," starring Rami Malek as the late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, will compete in the more prestigious best movie drama category. They will face off against three films focusing on racial issues — superhero movie "Black Panther," "BlacKkKlansman" and "If Beale Street Could Talk."
Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron's lovingly shot "Roma" is expected to win the Golden Globe for best foreign language film.
The Golden Globes ceremony will be televised live on NBC on Sunday, starting at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT.