Silent French-directed film “The Artist” hopes to make a lot of noise at the Golden Globes Sunday, aiming to add to a string of awards and nominations ahead of the all-important Oscars.
But it faces stiff competition from a slew of films starring A-listers including George Clooney, Angelina Jolie and Meryl Streep, who was nominated for her gripping turn as British premier Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady.”
“The Artist,” by French filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius, tops the Globes nominees this year with nods in six categories including best musical or comedy and best director.
The black-and-white film, billed as a tribute to the silent movie era, tells the story of silent star George Valentin (played by Jean Dujardin) whose career is torpedoed by the arrival of the “talkies.”
It won best film and best director at the New York Film Critics Circle awards in November, and has garnered a string of nods since – including this week from the Directors Guild of America, seen as a key Oscars indicator.
It won more prizes still just three days before the Globes, taking the Critics’ Choice best film award in Los Angeles Thursday evening, as well as well honors for best score, costume design and director.
But it also drew unusually harsh criticism this week, when veteran star Kim Novak, in a full-page ad in industry daily Variety, accused Hazanavicius of “rape” for using music from the Alfred Hitchcock classic “Vertigo.”
And for all the tributes, the French film faces tough contenders at the Beverly Hilton hotel Sunday.
After its six nods, tied for second are “The Help,” about black servants in the pre-civil rights era U.S. south, and “The Descendants” starring George Clooney. Both are nominated in five categories for the Globes.
There are four each for Clooney-directed thriller “The Ides of March,” Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” and “Moneyball” starring Brad Pitt.
Notable absentees from the Globes shortlists are Terrence Malick’s critically acclaimed “The Tree of Life” – which won the Palme d’Or in Cannes – as well as Cold War thriller “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.”
They could yet win gongs though: Nominations for the Oscars are due to be announced Jan. 24, ahead of the 84th Academy Awards show – the climax of Hollywood’s awards season Feb. 26.
The Los Angeles Times noted that the Globes shortlists were celebrity-heavy, testifying to the reputation of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for getting star power on the red carpet.
Other “A” listers nominated include Elton John and Madonna for best song – Elton for “Hello Hello” from “Gnomeo and Juliet,” and Madonna for “Masterpiece” from “W.E.,” which she directed, about King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson.