American director Steven Spielberg and Irish actor Colin Farrell were among the big winners at the Golden Globes as the awards show returned in person for its milestone 80th year.
One of the first major events of the award season calendar, it saw several wins for Martin McDonagh’s The Banshees Of Inisherin, a dark comedy about a fractured friendship between Farrell’s character and that of his co-star Brendan Gleeson.
Spielberg won best director, as well as the best drama motion picture trophy for his semi-autobiographical film The Fabelmans, with other top awards going to Austin Butler and Cate Blanchett.
Last year’s Golden Globes was turned into a “private event” at the last minute by organisers, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), after it faced heavy criticism over its lack of black members.
But kicking off the 2023 show, host Jerrod Carmichael addressed the diversity controversy directly.
“I’ll tell you why I’m here, I’m here because I’m black,” the US comedian told audiences as he opened the show in Los Angeles on Tuesday evening.
He said: “I’ll tell you what’s been going on. This show, the Golden Globe Awards did not air last year, because the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which I won’t say they were a racist organisation, but they didn’t have a single black member until George Floyd died – do with that information what you will.”
He added: “I took this job assuming they hadn’t changed at all.
“(But) regardless of whatever the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s past may be, this is an evening where we get to celebrate. And I think this industry deserves evenings like these. And I’m happy to be here.”
Following the fallout, the HFPA subsequently vowed to overhaul its bylaws and implement changes addressing ethics and inclusion.
The event took place at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles and saw the return of multiple famous faces.
Several big British names, including Dame Emma Thompson, Olivia Colman, Bill Nighy and Daniel Craig, were also tipped for top awards – but all lost out.
Blanchett triumphed in best performance by an actress in a motion picture: drama category, for her performance in Tar as ferocious, celebrated orchestra conductor Lydia Tar.
In the parallel category of best performance by an actor in a motion picture: drama, Elvis star Butler took home the trophy.
The US actor paid tribute to his “heroes” in the room, including Brad Pitt, Quentin Tarantino, as well as director Baz Luhrmann and “the King” – Elvis Presley.
“You were an icon and a rebel. I love you so much,” he said.
Irish star Farrell took home the award for best performance by an actor in a motion picture musical or comedy for his role in The Banshees Of Inisherin and thanked his entire cast and crew.
“Martin McDonagh I owe you so much man,” he said during his acceptance speech.
“14 years ago you put me working with Brendan Gleeson … and you changed the trajectory of my life forever in ways that I, begrudgingly, will be grateful to you for the rest of my days.”
Addressing Gleeson, he continued: “Brendan, I just, I love you so much.
“I love that I get to cohabitate this creative space with you every day. All I did when I came to work every day was aspire to be your equal.
“I’m not saying I even got there but the aspiration kept me going. And I’ll thank you for that for the rest of my days also.”
McDonagh previously cast Gleeson and Farrell as a veteran hit man and trigger-happy protege in his foul-mouthed 2008 crime caper In Bruges.
The Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri director went on to win the award for best screenplay for The Banshees Of Inisherin, thanking its stars as well as the wider cast.
The film also won in the best motion picture, musical or comedy category and The Fabelmans won best motion picture, drama – the final award of the evening.
Earlier, Naatu Naatu, from the film RRR, overcame pop music heavyweights Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga and Rihanna, to claim the Golden Globe for best original song.
A slew of celebrities took on presenting duties throughout the evening including Letitia Wright, Jennifer Hudson, Salma Hayek, Hilary Swank and Ana de Armas.
The evening also included a message from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who said that it was “clear” that the “tide was turning” in the ongoing war in his country, and that Ukraine would be triumphant in its struggle.