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."
British comic Ricky Gervais is meanwhile promising a no-holds-barred performance in his third time as Globes host, invited back despite ruffling some Hollywood feathers with near-the-bone jokes at last year's show.
"They have got to know I am going to do the same again," he said on the eve of the show. "They can expect the same as last year, with different -- I nearly said 'targets' -- different subjects and different jokes."
"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."
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