By Lisa Richwine and Danielle Broadway
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Jan 10 (Reuters) – “The Fabelmans,” Steven Spielberg’s movie inspired by his teen years, and dark comedy “The Banshees of Inisherin” landed the top movie awards at the Golden Globes on Tuesday as Hollywood returned to a show that had been knocked off television by scandal.
“The Fabelmans” was named best movie drama at the star-studded ceremony in Beverly Hills. “Banshees of Inisherin,” the story of feuding friends on an Irish island, won best movie musical or comedy.
The honors are likely to give both movies a boost on the road to the Academy Awards in March.
Spielberg, who also won best director, based “The Fabelmans” on his real life as a teenager dealing with his parents’ marital struggles and anti-Semitism. He said he had been “hiding this story since I was 17.”
“When I turned 74 years old, I decided you better do it now,” he said. “I’m really happy I did.”
Celebrities and broadcaster NBC had abandoned the 2022 Globes because of ethical wrongdoings at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the group that hands out the awards.
The future of the Globes was thrown into doubt after a 2021 Los Angeles Times investigation revealed the organization had no Black journalists in its ranks. Some members were accused of making sexist and racist remarks and soliciting favors from celebrities and movie studios.
A larger, more diverse membership and other changes by the HFPA persuaded many of the biggest movie and TV stars to support this year’s ceremony, which provides publicity for winners and nominees and often boosts their chances at the Oscars.
The show unfolded largely as it had in years past, except for a biting monologue from comedian and host Jerrod Carmichael who opened the show joking, “I’m here because I’m black.”
“One day you’re making mint tea at home. The next day you’re invited to be the Black face of an embattled white organization,” he said at the ceremony, which was aired live on Comcast Corp’s CMCSA.O NBC network and Peacock streaming service.
The winners list reflected a wide range of diversity.
“Abbott Elementary,” about teachers at a predominantly Black public school, was named best television comedy and received acting trophies for star and creator Quinta Brunson and supporting actor Tyler James Williams.
Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh, honored for her leading role in dimension-hopping action movie “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” recalled that said she had been called a “minority” and asked if she could speak English early in her career.
Forty years later, “it’s been an amazing journey and incredible fight to be here today, but I think it’s been worth it,” she said.
Ryan Murphy, who brought several gay and transgender stories to television, received a lifetime achievement award.
Best actor went to Austin Butler for his leading role in “Elvis.” The 31-year-old seemed overwhelmed to accept the honor before an audience of top names in show business.
“I’m in this room with all my heroes,” Butler said. “I can’t believe I’m here.
Colin Farrell won lead actor in a movie musical or comedy for portraying a farmer trying to repair a soured friendship in “The Banshees of Inisherin.” He thanked fellow cast members including “Jenny the donkey.”
The two biggest box office successes of 2022 – “Avatar: The Way of Water” and “Top Gun: Maverick” – were shut out.
Roughly 200 journalists and others from the international film industry voted on this year’s Globes. Among those voters, nearly 52% are racially and ethnically diverse, including 10% who are Black, according to the HFPA.
“Elvis” director Baz Luhrmann told Reuters on the event’s silver carpet that he felt the HFPA had made significant changes and “really walked the walk.”
“And we need them,” Luhrmann added, particularly after the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered theaters and led to a decline in moviegoing. “Us coming together is sending a signal out that it’s OK to come together for movies. That’s a good thing.”
Other TV winners included “House of the Dragon,” which earned the best drama prize. “The White Lotus” won best limited series.
Comedian Eddie Murphy accepted a lifetime achievement honor and shared his blueprint for success.
“Pay your taxes, mind your business and keep Will Smith’s wife’s name out of your fucking mouth,” Murphy joked, referring to the actor’s infamous slap of presenter Chris Rock at last year’s Oscars.
(Reporting by Lisa Richwine and Danielle Broadway; Additional reporting by Rollo Ross; Editing by Mary Milliken and Jonathan Oatis)