La La Land leads Golden Globe nominations

LOS ANGELES - Dreamy musical romance La La Land, set in modern-day Los Angeles, topped nominations for the Golden Globes on Monday, as Hollywood's awards seasons revs up in the march to the Oscars.

Damien Chazelle's tribute to the Golden Age of American musicals picked up seven nods, including for best musical/comedy film and for its two stars, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.

Dramas Moonlight, Manchester By The Sea, Florence Foster Jenkins and Lion followed with six, five, four and four nominations, respectively.

The announcements will give the nominees a welcome boost going into the race for February's Oscars, with the influential Screen Actors Guild nominations to come later this week.

La La Land will face competition from 20th Century Women, Deadpool, Florence Foster Jenkins, and Sing Street in the race for best comedy or musical film.

Vying for best motion picture drama are Mel Gibson's war movie Hacksaw Ridge, heist thriller Hell Or High Water, family dramas Lion and Manchester By The Sea and coming-of-age story Moonlight. Experts have Chazelle's musical in the lead in several races for the Globes, which will take place on January 8 with comedian Jimmy Fallon as host.

"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 (awards) for Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone," Chris Beachum, the managing director of the Gold Derby awards predictions website told AFP.

"It's got a very good shot at 'directing' and maybe the score or song categories - it could do really well."

Kenneth Lonergan's unflinching Manchester By The Sea, which earned Casey Affleck a nomination for best actor in a drama film, has been monopolising attention on the drama side of the Globes competition.

Another frontrunner is Barry Jenkins's Moonlight, with the director and cast members Naomie Harris and Mahershala Ali all garnering nominations.

Lion, about a young man from India adopted by an Australian family who searches for his long-lost blood relatives using Google Earth, is also considered a favourite for the Oscars.

Garth Davis's drama received Globes nods for best drama motion picture, and in the supporting acting categories for Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman.

Stars took to social media to voice their shock, delight or gratitude as they woke up to the announcements, presented in the pre-dawn hours in California.

"Thank you, Golden Globes! As we speak, the entire Deadpool team is engaged in a grotesque, early morning tickle-fight," the superhero comedy's star Ryan Reynolds, who was nominated for best comedy/musical actor, joked on Twitter.

Lily Collins, nominated for her performance in Warren Beatty's Rules Don't Apply, posted a picture to Instagram of her clasping her hand to her mouth in elation.

"The moment your mom captures you being nominated for your first Golden Globe. Priceless. I still can't breathe. Beyond honoured, thankful, and proud. This can't be real!" she said.

Hamilton superstar Lin-Manuel Miranda, who penned How Far I'll Go for Disney animation Moana, celebrated his best original song nomination with a tweet which said simply: "Bit of a day, bit of a day, bit of a day!" .

Notable by its absence was Nate Parker's The Birth of A Nation, which was seen as firm awards material until news emerged over the summer of the director's acquittal over rape allegations in 1999 by a woman who ended up committing suicide.

Other surprise omissions were Denzel Washington, nominated on seven previous occasions, who looked like a good bet to earn his first directing nod for Fences, and Silence director Martin Scorsese, who won in 2012 for Hugo. Washington nevertheless earned a nomination for his acting in Fences, as did co-star Viola Davis.

Maren Ade's Toni Erdmann, a German comedy about a troubled father-daughter relationship, added a Golden Globe nomination in the foreign language category after sweeping the board at the European film awards on Saturday.

It will vie for the prize with three French films - Divines, Elle and The Salesman, a joint French-Iranian production - as well as Chile's Neruda. Among the television nominations, FX true crime anthology The People vs O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story led with five nominations.

AMC crime drama The Night Manager was close behind with four nominations, while Black-ish, The Crown, The Night Of, This Is Us and Westworld grabbed three each.

HBO comfortably led the television nominations with 14.

Although more high-profile than the SAGs, the Golden Globes are seen as less of an indicator of Oscars glory, as a relatively small group of non-US journalists - the Hollywood Foreign Press Association - chooses the winners, rather than the industry itself.