Los Angeles (AFP)

Without champagne or red carpet due to the pandemic, the Golden Globes ceremony could still reserve its share of surprises on Sunday evening, between celebration of Hollywood directors and long-awaited consecration by Netflix.

The video-on-demand platform has a record number of nominations this year, 42 in total.

Netflix is ​​in contention in the most prestigious categories, notably that of "best dramatic film" with two films out of five nominees, "The Chicago Seven" and "Mank".

But caution remains in order because despite 34 nominations last year, Netflix had failed to win in the big leagues of Hollywood, finally leaving with only two trophies.

The Golden Globes are among the most coveted awards in American cinema and could bolster this year's favorites in the race for the Oscars or, conversely, shower their hopes.

For the 2019 edition, the jury of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association which awards these prizes had a hollow nose: all the Golden Globe winners in the cinema category had won an Oscar a few weeks later, at the except that for film music.

This year, "The Chicago Seven", drama by Aaron Sorkin on the repression of the demonstrations against the Vietnam War in 1968, and "Nomadland", hymn produced by Chloe Zhao to the glory of modern hippies crisscrossing the United States in their vans, both hold the rope because of their very current themes.

"I think it will probably play out between them," said Scott Feinberg, award specialist at The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

"And if there was to be a surprise, it would be + Promising Young Woman +, which is unlike anything we've seen recently," he adds.

In addition to this feminist thriller starring Carey Mulligan, "The Father", with Anthony Hopkins as an old man sinking into dementia and "Mank", a black and white ode by David Fincher to the cult film "Citizen Kane", are also nominated in the category. flagship of the best dramatic film.

- Three directors, "two white guys" -

On the director side, Chloe Zhao is an ultra-favorite against her competitors, including two other women, Emerald Fennell for "Promising Young Woman", and Regina King for "One Night in Miami".

"We'll see how it goes; at the end of the day David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin, two white guys, could win," notes Pete Hammond, who wants to be careful.

Darling of the jury, Barbra Streisand is to date the only woman to have won the Golden Globe in this category, for the musical film "Yentl" in 1984.

The late Chadwick Boseman, who died last summer of cancer after having played in particular "Black Panther", has a good chance of winning a Golden Globe for his performance in "The Blues of Ma Rainey", again a Netflix movie.

"It's his best role, and we have since learned that he knew it could be his last appearance, so it's hard to resist", analyzes Tim Gray.

Among the actresses, it is Carey Mulligan who has the wind in its sails thanks to her performance in "Promising Young Woman".

She plays a young woman who quenches her thirst for revenge by skimming bars and pretends to be drunk to push men to reveal their misogyny.

However, she will find on her way Frances McDormand, and Viola Davis in "My Rainey".

Unlike the Oscars, the Globes distinguish between dramatic films and comedies.

It is "Borat 2", with Sacha Baron Cohen in the role of the fictitious Kazakh journalist, and the musical "Hamilton" which hold the cord in this second category.

Sacha Baron Cohen is also selected in the Best Supporting Actor category for "The Chicago Seven".

For the first time in the history of the Golden Globes, the ceremony is held between the traditional Beverly Hills hotel in California, with actress Amy Poehler as mistress of ceremonies, and the Rainbow Room in New York where her friend Tina Fey will be joined by celebrities including Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Most stars, however, should be content to receive their trophy virtually, from home.

© 2021 AFP