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Stars arrive for Hollywood's Golden Globes show

BEVERLY HILLS (Reuters) - Hollywood's biggest stars turned out on Sunday for the 70th Golden Globe Awards, with "Lincoln" and Iran hostage thriller "Argo" in a close race for the top honor, best movie drama.
/ Source: Reuters

BEVERLY HILLS (Reuters) - Hollywood's biggest stars turned out on Sunday for the 70th Golden Globe Awards, with "Lincoln" and Iran hostage thriller "Argo" in a close race for the top honor, best movie drama.

Jessica Chastain, best actress nominee for thriller "Zero Dark Thirty," Claire Danes, star of the TV show "Homeland," and "Girls" creator and star Lena Dunham braved unusually chilly Southern California weather in traditional strapless or plunging gowns as they made their way down the red carpet for the glitzy dinner ceremony.

Jodie Foster, who will be receiving this year's lifetime achievement award, "Silver Linings Playbook" nominee Bradley Cooper and Golden Globe-nominated "Life of Pi" director Ang Lee were also among the early arrivals, while screaming fans in bleachers awaited George Clooney, Arnold Schwarzenegger and "Twilight" star Robert Pattinson, who will be among the A-list presenters.

Eyes also will be on comedians Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, who are jointly hosting the three-hour event for the first time and who have promised "the sloppiest, best ever" Golden Globes ceremony.

"Lincoln," Spielberg's account of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln's battle to end slavery, heads into the evening with seven nominations.

But it faces strong competition from "Argo," and Quentin Tarantino's spaghetti Western-style slavery drama, "Django Unchained," which have five apiece from Globe organizer, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA).

With Osama bin Laden movie "Zero Dark Thirty" and visually arresting shipwreck tale "Life of Pi" rounding out the best dramatic film contest, pundits say it is hard to predict which film will come out on top.

"They really seem to like Tarantino at the HFPA," said Pete Hammond, awards columnist for entertainment industry website Deadline.com.

"But I am guessing it will come down to 'Argo' versus 'Lincoln.' They like them both enormously at the HFPA, so I think it's a battle to the finish for those two," Hammond told Reuters.

EARLY OSCAR NOMINATIONS STEAL GLOBE'S THUNDER?

The Golden Globes, broadcast live on NBC television, is Hollywood's second-biggest awards show after February's Oscars, or Academy Awards. But its influence on that race has been sapped this year because Oscar nominations were announced three days ago, instead of a week after the Globes awards show.

Unlike the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes have a separate category for film comedies or musicals, and they honor television dramas and comedies.

This year the lavish screen version of hit stage musical "Les Miserables" is meeting strong competition from comedy "Silver Linings Playbook" about a man with bipolar disorder (Cooper) and a young widow (Jennifer Lawrence).

Both actors are also in the running for a Golden Globe trophy for their performances, along with "Les Miserables" stars Jackman and Hathaway.

In the television categories, Fey and Poehler are likely to have some fun at their own expense.

The former "Saturday Night Live" comedy show colleagues will compete against each other for the best comedy actress trophy thanks to their starring roles in TV shows "30 Rock" (Fey) and "Parks and Recreation" (Poehler).

The women will bring a fresh vibe to the festivities after three years in which acidic Briton Ricky Gervais has cracked the jokes.

"I think Tina and Amy may reserve their sharpest jabs for each other, and overall keep a little bit of a friendlier tone. I don't think they will go into the night wanting to skewer anyone, except maybe each other," said Dave Karger, chief correspondent at Fandango.com.

Television shows competing for best drama on Sunday include Emmy-winning terrorism thriller "Homeland," along with cooks and countesses drama "Downton Abbey," "Boardwalk Empire," "Breaking Bad," and newcomer "The Newsroom."

The best comedy/musical series race features "Modern Family," "Girls," "Episodes," "The Big Bang Theory," and "Smash."

(Reporting By Jill Serjeant; Editing by Stacey Joyce)