‘La La Land’ expected to lead Golden Globe nominations

By Frankie Taggart, AFP

LOS ANGELES — Nominations for the Golden Globes will be unveiled Monday with critics expecting musical “La La Land” to lead the pack ahead of “Moonlight,” “Manchester by the Sea” and “Lion.”

In a departure from last year’s awards calendar, the announcements come before the influential Screen Actors Guild nominations, making them the first major bellwether of momentum going into the Oscars race. The Globe nominations, set to be made at the crack of dawn in Beverly Hills, are decided by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), a group of entertainment journalists who are wined and dined by publicists. There has been controversy in the past over the category placement of films, with last year’s inclusion of “The Martian” and “Joy” in comedy/musical raising eyebrows. But awards prediction site Gold Derby has Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land” — uncontroversially both a musical and a romantic comedy — comfortably in the lead in several races.

“Normally the Globe voters like to spread the wealth among a lot of different films, but I could honestly see it winning the film award and for Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone,” managing director Chris Beachum told AFP.

“It’s got a very good shot at directing and maybe the score or song categories — it could do really well.” Experts say Kenneth Lonergan’s unflinching “Manchester by the Sea,” which has won acclaim for its central performance by Casey Affleck, has been getting the most recent attention on the drama side. The 74th Golden Globe Awards will air on NBC in the U.S. live coast to coast from the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills on Jan. 8.