LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 06: Amos Newman, Randy Newman and Kathryn Bostic attend the Marriage Story LA Tastemaker at…
Amos Newman, Randy Newman and Kathryn Bostic attend the Marriage Story LA Tastemaker at Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, December 06, 2019.

LOS ANGELES - "Marriage Story," Netflix's heart-wrenching divorce saga, topped the Golden Globe nominations Monday with six nods including best drama, kicking off the race for the Oscars.

"The Irishman," Martin Scorsese's three-and-a-half-hour gangster epic, and "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood," Quentin Tarantino's nostalgic love letter to 1960s Tinseltown, were hot on its heels with five each.

The nominations traditionally see the stars and movies destined for awards success start to break away from the competition -- the Globes are seen as a key bellwether for February's Academy Awards.

"Marriage Story" earned nominations for its stars Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver, and for its screenplay, but director Noah Baumbach missed out.

Scorsese was nominated for best director for "Irishman" but there was no best actor nod for his leading man Robert De Niro. Instead, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci were both selected for supporting roles.

Netflix's Vatican drama "The Two Popes" also performed well, while dark comic book tale "Joker" received recognition in best drama, best actor and best director.

Monday's nominations were announced at an early-morning Beverly Hills ceremony by actor Tim Allen ("Toy Story") and actresses Dakota Fanning ("I Am Sam") and Susan Kelechi Watson ("This Is Us").

The 77th Golden Globes will take place in Los Angeles on January 5, two days before voting for Oscars nominees ends.

The gala will be hosted by British comedian Ricky Gervais.