Hollywood gets set for Golden Globe awards

Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo in The Artist Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo play the lead roles in The Artist

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Hollywood is gearing up for the Golden Globe awards later, with silent movie The Artist leading the field with six nominations.

The film is up for best musical and comedy and gets additional nods for its stars Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo.

Hot on the heels of The Artist comes 1960s drama The Help, and George Clooney film The Descendants, up for five prizes apiece.

Comic and actor Ricky Gervais is returning to host the event.

The Office and Extras star caused controversy last year with his sharp-tongued presenting style.

He said he had already come up with jokes against "specific targets".

'Just rewards'

"I don't know anyone who was outraged last year, because everyone I spoke to who I made a joke about was cool about it," he added.

In the best comedy or musical category, The Artist faces competition from 50/50, Bridesmaids, Midnight in Paris and My Week with Marilyn.

Chris O'Dowd, who stars in Bridesmaids, told the BBC: "It's fabulous. I do think comedy isn't given its just rewards. I'm not sure the public and awards voters realise how difficult it is to be good and be funny."

Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer in The Help Three of The Help's female actresses are nominated for awards

The Help and The Descendants are up for best film drama, alongside Martin Scorsese's Hugo, Moneyball, Steven Spielberg's War Horse and Clooney's other 2011 release, The Ides of March.

Kenneth Branagh gets a best actor nomination for his portrayal of Laurence Olivier opposite Michelle Williams' Marilyn Monroe in My Week With Marilyn.

Williams is up for best comedy actress, as is Kate Winslet for the Roman Polanski film Carnage - an honour she shares with her co-star Jodie Foster.

Tilda Swinton - cited for her role in We Need to Talk About Kevin - features in the best dramatic actress category, as does Oscar favourite Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady. Glenn Close, Viola Davis and Rooney Mara - for the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - complete the shortlist.

Clooney is up for best dramatic actor for The Descendants, where his competition includes Shame's Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt for Moneyball and Leonardo DiCaprio for J Edgar.

Dominic West and Romola Garai Dominic West and Romola Garai are both recognised for Abi Morgan's The Hour

Ryan Gosling, also included here for The Ides of March, gets a second best actor nod for the romantic comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Other nominees for the best actor in a comedy or musical prize include Dujardin and Ireland's Brendan Gleeson, cited for his role in The Guard.

In the best animated film category, meanwhile, Bristol-based studio Aardman is shortlisted for their festive hit Arthur Christmas. Rivals to the prize include Cars 2 and The Adventures of Tintin.

British talent

The Globes is considered the first major event of the Hollywood films season.

But it also honours television as well as film.

ITV's Downton Abbey and HBO's Mildred Pierce lead the way with four nods each.

Winslet gets a second citation for her eponymous role in the latter, while Hugh Bonneville is recognised in the best actor in a mini-series category for Downtown Abbey.

British talent features prominently in Bonneville's field, which also sees nominations for Bill Nighy, Dominic West and Idris Elba.

Jeremy Irons, Damian Lewis, Romola Garai and Emily Watson are among the other British stars to be recognised for their small-screen work.

British screenwriter Abi Morgan is involved in five prizes, although she is not directly nominated herself - she wrote The Iron Lady, Shame and TV series The Hour.

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