With seven nominations each, the two features dominate the film categories in the 71st Golden Globes Awards. The winners will be announced in a ceremony on January 12.

Two very different movies, Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" and David O. Russell's "American Hustle" are in direct competition for four awards: best director, best screenplay, best supporting actress and best supporting actor.

The rivalry ends there, however, as the Golden Globes offer separate "best motion picture" awards for drama and comedy features. The period drama "12 Years a Slave" is expected to earn this distinction in the drama category, besting fellow nominees "Captain Phillips," "Gravity," "Philomena" and "Rush." Last year, the best drama award went to "Argo."

In the "best comedy or musical" category, the competition will be slightly stiffer for "American Hustle," which is up against the Coen brothers' "Inside Llewyn Davis" and Alexander Payne's "Nebraska," both praised by critics at the Cannes Film Festival last May. Spike Jonze's "Her" and Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street" are also in the running.

The awards given to "12 Years a Slave" and "American Hustle" should allow film journalists to hone their predictions ahead of the 2014 Oscars, for which the nominees will be announced on January 16. Unlike the Golden Globes, the Oscars will place the two films in direct competition for the top award: the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Organized by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the Golden Globe Awards honor the best TV and film productions of the previous year. The 71st ceremony, hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, will be broadcast live on NBC on January 12 from 8 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. PT.