The Banshees of Inisherin wins big at Golden Globes 2023

January 11, 2023

LOS ANGELES — The Banshees of Inisherin has won three major prizes at the Golden Globes' comeback ceremony in Los Angeles.

The film took home the best musical or comedy film and best screenplay, as well as the best comedy actor for its star, Irish actor Colin Farrell.

"I never expect my films to find an audience, and when they do it's shocking for me," Farrell said.

Steven Spielberg's autobiographical The Fabelmans was also one of the big winners, scooping best drama film.

School-based comedy Abbott Elementary and satirical dark comedy The White Lotus were among the winners in the television categories.

Set on a remote island off the west coast of Ireland, The Banshees of Inisherin tells the story of two friends who fall out after one decides to abruptly end their relationship.

The film sees Farrell reunited with director Martin McDonagh and co-star Brendan Gleeson. The trio previously worked together on the 2007 cult film In Bruges.

In a spirited speech, Farrell said: "Martin McDonagh, I owe you so much. You changed the trajectory of my life forever in ways that I, begrudgingly, will be grateful to you for the rest of my days.

"And Brendan, I love you so much. All I did when I came to work every day was to aspire to be your equal. I'm not saying I even got there but the aspiration kept me going."

McDonagh won the prize for best screenplay for the same film. He joked he would "try not to leave it another 14 years" before working with the same team again.

Spielberg was named best director for his helming of The Fabelmans, which follows a young boy – loosely based on Spielberg himself – who falls in love with filmmaking.

"I put a lot of things in my way with this story," he said in his acceptance speech. "I told this story in parts and parcels all through my career but I never had the courage to hit the story head-on."

Other big film winners included Everything Everywhere All at Once, which saw acting prizes for two of its stars, Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan.

The madcap sci-fi movie sees Yeoh play a laundrette worker who hops through the multiverse exploring different versions of herself.

Accepting her award, Yeoh said: "I turned 60 last year. And I think all of you women understand this: as the days, the years and the numbers get bigger, it seems like opportunities start to get smaller.

"And I probably was at a time when I thought, 'well hey, you had a really good run, you worked with some of the best people... then along came the best gift - Everything Everywhere All at Once."

Elsewhere, Austin Butler held off stiff competition to be named best drama actor, for his portrayal of singer Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann's biopic.

"I owe this to a bold, visionary filmmaker who allowed me the experience to take risks and I always knew I would be supported. Baz Luhrmann, I love you," Butler said. "And lastly, Elvis Presley himself. You were an icon and a rebel."

Cate Blanchett was named best drama actress for her performance in Tar, but was not present to collect the prize as she is working on a production in the UK.

Abbott Elementary was named best comedy series, while two of its stars, Tyler James Williams and Quinta Brunson, took home acting prizes.

The White Lotus won best limited series, and there was recognition for its star Jennifer Coolidge – the only actor to appear in both seasons of the show.

Most of the winners were present to collect their awards, despite speculation that many stars would stay away from this year's ceremony due to controversy surrounding the organization behind the Globes.

There was another victory for Everything Everywhere All at Once earlier in the night, when Ke Huy Quan was named best supporting actor.

The star, who acted as a child alongside Harrison Ford in the Steven Spielberg-directed Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, became emotional as he accepted the trophy.

"I was raised to never forget where I came from, and to always remember who gave me my first opportunity. I am so happy to see Steven Spielberg here tonight," he said.

Angela Bassett, who won best supporting actress for her performance in Wakanda Forever, used her acceptance speech to pay tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman, who starred in the first Black Panther film.

"We embarked on this journey together with love. We were surrounded each and every day by the light and the spirit of Chadwick Boseman," she said.

"With this historic Black Panther series, it is part of his legacy that he helped to lead us to. We showed the world what black unity, leadership and love looks like beyond, behind and in front of the camera."

In the musical categories, composer Justin Hurwitz was recognized for his Babylon score, while best original song went to Naatu Naatu from the Indian action film RRR.

The tune held off competition in the same category from pop music heavyweights Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga and Rihanna.

Pinocchio director Guillermo del Toro referenced the fact that this year's ceremony was the first Globes to be televised since the pandemic. "I'm happier to be with you in person, we're back. Some of us are drunk, what can be better?" he joked.

But he also took the opportunity to champion the craft of animated films. "It's been a great year for cinema of all sizes and ambitions, big swings, intimate movies, and therefore it's been a great year for animation, because animation is cinema," he said. "Animation is not a genre for kids, it is a medium."

Brutally honest host

First-time host Jerrod Carmichael's opening monologue was awkward and light on jokes, and the comedian spent much of his time telling the audience to be quiet. But his performance became more assured as the show went on.

Many viewers said they appreciated his brutally honest approach and willingness to create awkward moments in the room with his often savage one-liners, but others felt his jokes were offensive or in poor taste.

Carmichael referenced the ceremony being held at the Beverley Hilton, describing it as "the hotel that killed Whitney Houston". He spoke to some stars directly from the stage, telling Rihanna to ignore pressure from fans and take her time with recording her long-awaited next album.

The most risqué jibe came when he suggested that the three Golden Globes which Tom Cruise returned should be "exchanged for the safe return of Shelly Miscavige" – a reference to Scientology leader David Miscavige's wife, who has not been seen in public since 2007.

Carmichael also recalled Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars last year, saying the actor had won "the Rock Hudson award for best portrayal of masculinity on television".

Elsewhere, actor Sean Penn introduced a message from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and paid tribute to those struggling in conflict around the world.

Zelensky 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. — BBC

January 11, 2023
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