The 80th Golden Globe Awards return to NBC, as Hollywood cautiously returns


Steven Spielberg’s autobiographical ‘The Fabelmans’ and understated Irish period piece ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’ scooped top prizes at the Golden Globe Awards, on a night that saw the event return to television and directly address the controversy that caused his absence from television in 2022.

Host Jerrod Carmichael reminded stars who flocked to this year’s 80th Globes of the scandal that temporarily drove the show off television, kicking off the telecast by portraying himself as “the black face of a beleaguered white organization”.

The Globes returned to NBC this year after the network scrapped the 2022 TV broadcast, following a Los Angeles Times report exposing the lack of diversity within the organization presenting them, the Hollywood Foreign Press. Assn., and the alleged ethical failings of its members.

“I’ll tell you why I’m here: I’m here because I’m black,” Carmichael said, in an opening monologue that drew uncomfortable laughter from the Beverly Hilton Hotel audience.

The HFPA responded to public criticism when the story broke in 2021 by enacting various reforms. Hollywood has cautiously resumed the festivities, partly hoping that Globes recognition will provide an edge in what is seen as a wide-open Oscar race.

As for helping shape what will make the Oscar cut when those nominations are announced on Jan. 24, two films that barely made a ripple at the box office outperformed popular contenders like “Avatar: The Way of Water” and ” Top Gun: Maverick” in the film’s vote. Due to the proximity of the Oscars, this is invariably the most watched aspect of the awards leading up to it.

The Globes are unique in that they split their top film honors in half. “The Fabelmans” won statues for both best drama and for Spielberg, his third Globe as a director, while “Banshees of Inisherin” won for best musical or comedy, as well as for the writer Martin McDonagh and star Colin Farrell.

Carmichael joked about just taking the money for accommodation, but concluded by saying he took on the job in part to celebrate the entertainment personalities in the venue he looked up to.

Notably in terms of controversy, five of the top seven performer awards went to people of color. That included Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan for sci-fi comedy “Everything Everywhere All at Once” and Angela Bassett for Marvel’s sequel “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” Both films were broadly popular, as opposed to the more narrowly biased arthouse fare that ruled most film categories.

Honored for his return role after a long hiatus from acting, Quan expressed his gratitude to Spielberg, who cast him as a child in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.” Bassett spoke about the late Chadwick Boseman and how the movies were part of his legacy.

Quinta Brunson and Tyler James Williams were also recognized for top comedy winner ABC sitcom “Abbott Elementary,” the rare broadcast network series to make inroads into the awards arena. Among dramas, Zendaya won another accolade for HBO’s teen drama “Euphoria.”

From a production perspective, the ceremony often felt chaotic, rushing through the final hour and continuing to last around 20 minutes out of its scheduled three-hour window.

This was due in part to the prolixity, at least by the rules of award show etiquette, of the recipients, who established early on that they would ignore efforts to “play” them with musical cues and simply go from forward with their speeches and thanks. In Yeoh’s case, the famous action star pointed out that she could beat the piano player, if necessary.

Made up of international journalists, the HFPA has traditionally favored European talent, a trend generally less evident this year. Farrell won for “Banshees” and Cate Blanchett for her role as the imperious bandleader in “Tár.” Austin Butler was honored for his portrayal of Elvis Presley in the “Elvis” biography.

Netflix also picked up a win over Disney in the animated film category with “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio,” a stop-motion version of the story.

In the TV categories, Globes voters split the wealth, with HBO taking home four, including best series and limited series honors for “House of the Dragon” and “The White Lotus.” ABC claimed three thanks to “Abbott” and FX a pair, with one each for Netflix, Apple TV+, Hulu and Paramount Network.

Carmichael’s presentations included a joke about Tom Cruise returning his Golden Globes amid controversy, eliciting a muted response when he made a veiled reference to the actor’s ties to Scientology.

Eddie Murphy gave a low-key speech at the Cecil B. DeMille Award reception, before concluding with a joke about Will Smith’s slap at the Oscars which was one of many profanity-demanding statements of the night.

Receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award in Television, “Glee” and “American Horror Story” producer Ryan Muprhy spoke about his mission to bring LGBTQ characters to the screen, seeking to “take the invisible , the unloved and make them the heroes I always yearned to see but never did in pop culture.

The event also included a recorded message from Ukrainian President Vlodymyr Zelensky, who made a similar appearance at the Grammy Awards in April.

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