Nominations come out Thursday morning for the 70th Globes ceremony, Hollywood's second-biggest film honors after the Academy Awards.
Among potential contenders are two-time Oscar winners Day-Lewis and Field for Steven Spielberg's Civil War saga "Lincoln," whose Globe possibilities also include past Oscar recipient Tommy Lee Jones.
Two-time Oscar winner De Niro is in the running for the lost-soul romance "Silver Linings Playbook," along with the film's lead performers, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence.
The field of contenders is loaded with other Oscar recipients such as Mirren and Anthony Hopkins for "Hitchcock," Philip Seymour Hoffman for "The Master," Helen Hunt for "The Sessions," Marion Cotillard for "Rust and Bone," Russell Crowe for "Les Miserables" and Alan Arkin for "Argo."
One of the year's big action hits, the James Bond adventure "Skyfall," could bring the latest Globe nomination for past Oscar winner Javier Bardem, who elevates his super-villain role into one of the year's most entertaining performances.
Presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a relatively small group of about 90 reporters covering Hollywood for overseas outlets, the Globes sometimes single out newcomers to Hollywood's awards scene. Hilary Swank's Globe win for 1999's "Boys Don't Cry" helped put her on the map on the way to winning her first Oscar.
The possibilities this time include veteran French performers Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant, who star as an elderly couple in "Amour," and first-time actors Quvenzhane Wallis and Dwight Henry for the low-budget critical darling "Beasts of the Southern Wild."
Globe acting winners often go on to receive the same prizes at the Oscars. All four Oscar winners last season - lead performers Meryl Streep of "The Iron Lady" and Jean Dujardin of "The Artist" and supporting players Octavia Spencer of "The Help" and Christopher Plummer of "Beginners" - won Globes first.
The Globes have a spotty record predicting which films might go on to earn the best-picture prize at the Academy Awards, however.
The Globes feature two best-film categories, one for drama and one for musical or comedy. Last year's Oscar best-picture winner, "The Artist," preceded that honor with a Globe win for best musical or comedy.
But in the seven years before that, only one winner in the Globe best-picture categories - 2008's "Slumdog Millionaire" - followed up with an Oscar best-picture win.
Along with 14 film prizes, the Globes hand out awards in 11 television categories.
Jodie Foster, a two-time Oscar and Globe winner for "The Accused" and "The Silence of the Lambs," will receive the group's Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement at the Jan. 13 ceremony.
Tina Fey, a two-time Globe TV winner for "30 Rock," and Amy Poehler, a past nominee for "Parks and Recreation," will host the show, which airs live on NBC.
Fey and Poehler follow Ricky Gervais, who was host the last three years and rubbed some Hollywood egos the wrong way with sharp wisecracks about A-list stars and the foreign press association itself.
With stars sharing drinks and dinner, the Globes have a reputation as one of Hollywood's loose and unpredictable awards gatherings. Winners occasionally have been off in the restroom when their names were announced, and there have been moments of onstage spontaneity such as Jack Nicholson mooning the crowd or Ving Rhames handing over his trophy to fellow nominee Jack Lemmon.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)