In need of spotlight, Hollywood welcomes back tarnished Globes
The stand-up comedian Jerrod Carmichael hosted the ceremony, often poking at its troubles.
By BROOKS BARNES
The companies behind the tarnished Golden Globe Awards pushed forward with a rehabilitation effort Tuesday, with Hollywood luminaries making their way through a waterlogged Los Angeles to accept trophies for film and television achievements.
Standup comedian Jerrod Carmichael hosted the 80th Globes ceremony, forgoing the typical monologue (zingers about high-wattage attendees) for a subdued opening directly addressing the lack of diversity that kept the show off the air last year. In several moments, a quiet awkwardness fell over the room, as when he noted that the group that awards the Globes didn’t “have a single Black member until George Floyd died.”
“One minute, you’re making mint tea at home, the next you’re invited to be the Black face of an embattled white organization,” he continued, explaining how he came to take the gig. “Life really comes at you fast, you know?” He cracked that a friend, upon learning that he would get paid $500,000, told him to “put on a good suit and take them white people’s money.”
“The Fabelmans,” a semi-autobiographical family drama from Steven Spielberg, won the Globe for best film, drama, and the award for best director.
“I’m really, really happy about this,” Spielberg said while accepting the directing prize. “I’ve been hiding from this story since I was 17 years old.” He joked that his mother, Leah Adler, was in heaven “kvelling about this.”
“The Banshees of Inisherin,” a windswept tragicomedy about a moldered friendship, was named best film, musical or comedy, also picking up Globes for Martin McDonagh’s screenwriting and Colin Farrell’s acting.
But behind the sharp jokes, fervent acceptance speeches, Champagne and couture lurked another sad truth: After two years of upheaval caused by an ethics, finance and diversity scandal — culminating with NBC’s refusal to broadcast the 2022 ceremony — Hollywood has dropped any pretense that the Globes are meaningful as markers of artistic excellence.
The Globes are about business, plain and simple.
Most movie studios view the Globes telecast and accompanying red carpet spectacle as crucial marketing opportunities for winter films, especially dramas, which have been struggling at the box office. In a study released in 2021, economists at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania found that, on average, films that win Globes earn an additional $16.5 million in ticket sales.
“The Fabelmans,” which cost $40 million to make, not including marketing, was one of the films with the most to gain. It has collected $13.4 million at the domestic box office since its release in November.
James Cameron, a best director nominee for “Avatar: The Way of Water,” had received the memo. He turned a red carpet moment into a sales pitch. “We’re back to theaters — as a society we really need this,” he said. “Enough with the streaming already!”
The lead acting Globes for dramas went to Austin Butler (“Elvis”) and Cate Blanchett (“Tár”). Ke Huy Quan was honored for his supporting performance in “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” while Angela Bassett won the Globe for best supporting actress for her regal role in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”
In a surprise, HBO’s “Game of Thrones” spinoff “House of the Dragon” won the Globe for best television drama. (Awards prognosticators had predicted that “Severance” on Apple TV+ would get the prize.) “Abbott Elementary,” the ABC comedy set in a Philadelphia school, was named best comedy.
“Thank you for believing in this show,” Quinta Brunson, the “Abbott Elementary” star and producer, said earlier as she collected the trophy for best actress in a comedy. “It has resonated with the world in a way that I couldn’t even imagine it would have.”
“The Banshees of Inisherin,” and “Abbott Elementary” had the most nominations going into the night among movies and TV shows. “Banshees” was up for eight film prizes, while “Abbott Elementary” figured into five TV categories.
Farrell won the Globe for best actor in a comedy or musical for his baffled “Banshees” performance, taking time to thank studio executives, his co-stars, his family and the donkey that appeared in the film. Michelle Yeoh won best actress in a comedy or musical for “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” a zany twist on superhero movies.
“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,” Yeoh said, noting that she turned 60 last year and referencing the discrimination she has faced in Hollywood. She then started to say how grateful she was for the role when show producers started playing music to nudge her offstage. “Shut up, please,” she said, to cheers, before continuing.
People who assist stars behind the scenes (agents, publicists, stylists) will tell you that very few were eager to attend the ceremony, either as nominees or presenters. At least 20 nominees did not attend, including Julia Roberts, Blanchett and Zendaya, who was named best actress in a television drama for “Euphoria.” Some of the no-shows cited work conflicts, but the weather didn’t help, with the event coming on the heels of what meteorologists said was the worst rainstorm to sweep through Los Angeles since 2005.
Still, most nominees went through the motions — smiles! smiles! smiles! — because they care greatly about Oscar nominations, and voting by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences begins Thursday.
The Golden Globe Awards broadcast also generates tens of millions of dollars for various Hollywood businesses. Catering companies, party planners, chauffeurs, banquet workers, florists and spray tanners count on the show to generate a significant part of their winter income.
“This is so exciting,” Marc Malkin, a senior Variety editor, said at the start of Variety’s red carpet preshow, sounding like he was still trying to convince himself. (Globes producers actually put down a gray carpet for stars to walk, explaining that it was part of a “new palette.” Some of the biggest stars walked the carpet but did not give interviews, perhaps to avoid awkward questions about why they decided to come.)
Advertisers bought roughly $50.3 million worth of airtime during NBC’s most recent Globes telecast, according to Kantar, a media research firm. NBC paid about $40 million for rights to this year’s show, money that went to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the unorthodox nonprofit organization that bestows the Globes, and Dick Clark Productions, which mounted the telecast.
As host, Carmichael veered from serious to lighthearted to boorish (vulgar language, a Whitney Houston joke) during a ceremony that was notable for the diversity of winners and those in contention. The show even made time for a taped message about freedom by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Eddie Murphy and television producer Ryan Murphy (“Pose,” “Glee,” “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story”) received lifetime achievement awards. Growing up gay in Indiana, Ryan Murphy said, “I never saw a person like me getting an award or even being a character on a TV show.”
NBC canceled the 2022 telecast amid an ethics, finance and diversity scandal involving the HFPA. Citing extensive reforms by the group, NBC in September agreed to air the ceremony — under a one-year trial.
The press association has overhauled membership eligibility, recruited new members with an emphasis on diversity, enacted a stricter code of conduct and has moved to end its tax-exempt status and transform into a for-profit company with a philanthropic arm. The 96-member organization now has six Black members — up from zero — and has added 103 nonmember voters, a dozen or so of whom are Black.
NBC billed the 2023 Globes as “the party of the year” in advertisements. In truth, however, Hollywood tried to pare back the glamour and excess, in part to send a signal — the Globes are still on probation — and in part because studios have been cutting costs and laying off staff to cope with setbacks at their streaming businesses. In the past, the Beverly Hilton has hosted as many as six separate after parties; this time around, there was one scheduled.
Even so, the movie capital does not do austerity terribly well. Moët & Chandon was expected to supply more than 100 cases of Champagne, including its Rosé Impérial. Globes attendees were served Icelandic salmon with “citrus-scented celery purée, Maya Pura honey brulée, roasted watermelon radish” and “herb dust.”
2023 GOLDEN GLOBE WINNERS
Best Motion Picture, Drama
Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
“The Banshees of Inisherin”
Best TV Series, Drama
“House of the Dragon”
Best TV Series, Musical or Comedy
Best Performance by an Actor in a TV Series, Drama
Kevin Costner, “Yellowstone”
Best Limited Series, Anthology Series or a Motion Picture Made for TV
“The White Lotus”
Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series, Anthology Series or a TV Movie
Evan Peters, “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story”
Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series, Anthology Series or a TV Movie
Amanda Seyfried, “The Dropout”
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a TV Limited Series, Anthology Series or TV Movie
Jennifer Coolidge, “The White Lotus”
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a TV Limited Series, Anthology Series or TV Movie
Paul Walter Hauser, “Black Bird”
Best Director, Motion Picture
Steven Spielberg, “The Fabelmans”
Best Screenplay, Motion Picture
Martin McDonagh, “The Banshees of Inisherin”
Best Motion Picture, Non-English Language
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama
Cate Blanchett, “Tár”
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a TV Musical, Comedy or Drama Series
Julia Garner, “Ozark”
Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series, Drama
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama
Austin Butler, “Elvis”
Best Motion Picture, Animated
“Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio”
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Michelle Yeoh, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Colin Farrell, “The Banshees of Inisherin”
Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy
Quinta Brunson, “Abbott Elementary”
Best Performance by an Actor in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy
Jeremy Allen White, “The Bear”
Best Original Song, Motion Picture
“Naatu Naatu,” “RRR”
Best Original Score, Motion Picture
Justin Hurwitz, “Babylon”
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a TV Musical, Comedy or Drama Series
Tyler James Williams, “Abbott Elementary”
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture
Angela Bassett, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture
Ke Huy Quan, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”