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The Golden Globes 2015 website 'winner' glitch

LOS ANGELES, USA –  Hollywood is holding its breath ahead of Sunday's Golden Globes, with dark comedy Birdman leading the race for awards glory ahead of next month's all-important Oscars.

While an eve-of-show computer glitch appeared to suggest two other films could take the top prizes, Birdman is still in strong position, earning a string of accolades and other nominations leading up to the Globes. (READ: Golden Globes 2015: Review the contenders)

What happened?

Barely 48 hours before the curtain goes up for the 72nd Globes ceremony, a website glitch appeared to suggest that Selma and Into the Woods could be set for best film honors.

The films were briefly posted on the Globes website as winning the best drama and best musical/comedy film awards, before the captions were taken down, according to industry journal Variety.

A spokesman said the films were chosen "randomly" from nominees' lists as Web technicians fine-tuned the website ahead of the show, and that the captions should not have been live. 

Review the contenders

This year's crop of nominated movies is heavy on true stories: 4 of the 5 Globes best drama contenders are based on real-life events.

Among the historical figures featured are British geniuses Stephen Hawking and Alan Turing, and Martin Luther King Jr.

In the best musical or comedy category, the widely acclaimed Birdman still seems to be the film to beat.

The movie also earned nods for best actor for Keaton, best supporting actor (Edward Norton), best supporting actress (Emma Stone) and best director (Mexico's Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu).

Its rivals include Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel, Disney's dark musical fairytale romp Into the WoodsPride and St Vincent

On the drama side, the best film contenders are: BoyhoodFoxcatcherThe Imitation GameSelma and The Theory of Everything.

Birdman, which stars former Batman Michael Keaton as a washed-up film actor trying to revive his career on stage, has earned the most nominations with seven. (READ: FULL LIST: Nominees, Golden Globe Awards 2015)

Coming-of-age drama Boyhood and Nazi code-breaking thriller The Imitation Game starring Britain's Benedict Cumberbatch are also hotly tipped to take home trophies with five nods apiece.

British actors feature strongly at the Globes: Cumberbatch and his co-star Keira Knightley are among a batch of British nominees in both the film and television categories.

Predicting the Globes

Comic actresses Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will be hosting the show for the third straight year at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where the festivities will begin at 5:00 pm (0100 GMT Monday).

Some industry experts have highlighted the lack of a clear frontrunner, in contrast to previous years like in 2012, when The Artist had a virtual lock on Best Picture prizes straight through to the Oscars.

"It seems like a real toss-up," Tom Nunan of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television told AFP, adding that actors in this year's race had all turned in "career-best performances."

Open TV field

On the small screen, Fargo took the most nominations with 5.

In the television categories, critics see a free-for-all now that the widely acclaimed Breaking Bad is no longer on the air or in the running.

Victories for either House of Cards for best drama series and Orange is the New Black for best comedy would be sweet for online streaming giant Netflix as it battles the traditional broadcast and cable networks.

Unlike the Oscars, which are voted on by some 6,000 industry members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Globes are selected by fewer than 100 journalists from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA).

But a Globes win can still provide a huge boost for an Oscars campaign.

Oscar nominations will be announced on Thursday. The Academy Awards will then be held on February 22. –