Michelle Yeoh, the star of Everything Everywhere All At Once (EEAAO), won for best actress in a comedy or musical at this year’s Golden Globes as Hollywood returned and embraced a show that had been knocked off television by a diversity and ethics scandal.
The Malaysia-born Yeoh was just the second female actor of Asian descent to win in the category, after her Crazy Rich Asians co-star Awkwafina, who won for The Farewell in 2020. “Forty years,” the 60-year-old Yeoh said. “Not letting go of this.”
Honoured for her leading role in the dimension-hopping action movie, she took the stage after her name was called and said she was “just going to stand here and take this all in”.
“Hollywood was a dream come true until I came here,” the Malaysian actress of Chinese descent added, noting that she was 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.
When music started playing midway through her speech, she jokingly told the show’s producers to “shut up”.
“I can beat you up,” she said. “And that’s serious.”
Possibly Yeoh’s stiffest competition at the Academy Awards, Cate Blanchett of Tar, won best actress on the drama side. Blanchett, in production, wasn’t in attendance to pick up her forth Globe.
The Golden Globes returned to the air on Wednesday (Jan 11, Singapore time) with a red carpet flush with celebrities, comedian Jerrod Carmichael as a hesitant emcee and numerous trophies for EEAAO and Abbott Elementary, as the beleaguered award show sought to rekindle its pre-pandemic and pre-scandal glamour.
On a soggy night following punishing, prolonged rains that have lashed Southern California, the first award went to Ke Huy Quan, the former child star of Indiana Jones And The Temple of Doom, for best supporting actor in EEAAO. A clearly emotional Quan, who had left acting years before directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert cast him in their multiverse tale, thanked them for his second act.
“More than 30 years later, two guys thought of me,” said Quan. “They remembered that kid. And they gave me the opportunity to try again.”
Steven Spielberg, nominated 14 times by the Globes for best director, won the honour for the third time for his autobiographical The Fabelmans. The filmmaker began by thanking his three sisters, his late father and his late mother, Leah Adler (played by Michelle Williams in the film). “She is up there kvelling about this right now,” said Spielberg.
Angela Bassett, a likely Oscar frontrunner, won best supporting actress for her performance in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
“Weeping may come in the evening, but joy comes in the morning,” Bassett said, referencing the loss of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman.
Best actor was an upset. Austin Butler won for his performance in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis. The favourite in the category has arguably been Brendan Fraser for The Whale.
Ahead of the Globes, Fraser said he would not attend because “my mother didn’t raise a hypocrite.” In 2018, Fraser said he was groped in 2003 by longtime HFPA member Philip Berk. Berk, who is no longer an HFPA member, denied it.
The public school sitcom Abbott Elementary came in the lead TV nominee and took two awards early. Quinta Brunson, the show’s creator and star, won best actress in a comedy series, and Tyler James Williams won for his supporting role.
“It has resonated with the world in a way that I couldn’t even have imagined it would have,” said Brunson as she thanked the studios that backed her vision. “But let’s be real. I did imagine it. That’s why I sold it to you.”
Colin Farrell, who first won a Globe in 2009 for his performance in Martin McDonagh’s In Bruges in 2009, won best actor in a comedy in his reteaming with McDonagh and co-star Brendan Gleeson in The Banshees Of Inisherin. Farrell thanked McDonagh (who also won best original screenplay), much of the cast, his kids and the film’s donkey, Jenny.
Naatu Naatu from the Telugu sensation RRR, won best song over the likes of Rihanna and Taylor Swift. Jeremy Allen White of The Bear beat out Donald Glover (Atlanta), Bill Hader (Barry), Steve Martin (Only Murders In The Building) and Martin Short (Only Murders In The Building) to win best actor in a comedy or musical series.
Fresh off her dramatic White Lotus finale, Jennifer Coolidge spoke at length on the just-as-deadly risks of presenting an award on waxed floors.
Carmichael kicked off the 80th Golden Globes from the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, with little of the fanfare that usually opens such ceremonies. He plunged straight into the issues that drove the Globes off television and led much of the entertainment industry to boycott the Hollywood Foreign Press Association after the group was revealed to have no black members. Carmichael opened by asking the crowd to “be a little quiet here”.
“I am your host, Jerrod Carmichael,” said the Rothanial comedian. “And I’ll tell you why I’m here. I’m here ’cause I’m black.
“I won’t say they were a racist organisation,” he continued before sitting on the stage. “But they didn’t have a single black member until George Floyd died. So do with that information what you will.”
The red carpet (coloured grey this year) was just as crammed with decked-out stars as ever ahead of the ceremony, including Bassett in glittering silver and Lily James in a long-flowing red dress. Whether viewers also returned remains to be seen.
Stars and studios boycotted last year’s ceremony, which NBC opted not to televise, saying the Hollywood Foreign Press Association needed time to make “meaningful reform”.
The Globes were plunged into chaos shortly before a largely remote pandemic 2021 awards show when a Los Angeles Times report revealed that the HFPA, then numbering 87 members, had no black members. A separate New York Times report showed that the group – an often ridiculed collection of little-known foreign journalists based in Los Angeles – paid its members around US$3 million (S$3.99 million) in annual salaries, and detailed a litany of ethical lapses in how the organisation regularly interacted with potential nominees.
Tom Cruise, whose Top Gun: Maverick was nominated for best picture, drama, famously returned his three Golden Globe awards after the HFPA revelations. Mid-show, Carmichael came out with three trophies he said he found backstage, and suggested they be traded for Shelly Miscavige, the wife of the leader of the Church of Scientology.
Under mounting pressure, the HFPA pledged to reform, diversified its membership and changed some of the ways it operates. It now has 96 members, including six black members, along with 103 nonmember voters. Billionaire Todd Boehly purchased the Globes through his Eldridge Industries, and has begun turning the nonprofit group into a for-profit company.
Reaction to the Globe nominations last month was muted, with few stars publicly celebrating. But much of the industry turned out on Tuesday. Eddie Murphy and Ryan Murphy received tributes. Sean Penn introduced a message from Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
“There will be no third World War,” Zelenskyy said in a taped message, predicting Russia’s defeat. “It is not a trilogy.”
When the Globes were on the brink, NBC reworked its deal with the HFPA, putting the awards on a one-year contract and moving the show to Tuesday from its regular Sunday night spot. That meant the Globes were essentially put on a one-year audition to recapture its awards-season perch and relevancy to a Hollywood that seemed ready to abandon them for good. For the first time, the broadcast was also livestreamed, on NBCUniversal’s Peacock.
As it has for most award shows, viewership to the Globes telecast has cratered. After the 2020 awards were watched by 18.4 million, the 2021 edition managed just 6.9 million, according to Nielsen. Still, the Globes remain a valuable marketing tool for awards contenders, propping up ads for films in the long stretch between the holidays and the Oscars, which airs Mar 12.
The following is the full list of Golden Globes winners:
BEST PICTURE-MUSICAL OR COMEDY
The Banshees Of Inisherin
BEST ANIMATED FILM
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
BEST PICTURE (NON-ENGLISH LANGUAGE)
Argentina, 1985 (Argentina)
BEST ACTRESS, DRAMA
Cate Blanchett, Tar
BEST ACTOR, DRAMA
Austin Butler, Elvis
BEST ACTRESS, MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once
BEST ACTOR, MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Colin Farrell, The Banshees Of Inisherin
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once
Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans
The Banshees Of Inisherin, Martin McDonagh
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Babylon, Justin Hurwitz
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
RRR, Naatu Naatu by Kala Bhairava, M.M. Keeravani, Rahul Sipligunj
BEST DRAMA SERIES
House Of The Dragon
BEST MUSICAL OR COMEDY SERIES
BEST LIMITED SERIES, ANTHOLOGY SERIES OR TV MOVIE
The White Lotus
BEST ACTRESS, DRAMA
BEST ACTOR, DRAMA
Kevin Costner, Yellowstone
BEST ACTRESS, MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Quinta Brunson, Abbott Elementary
BEST ACTOR, MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Jeremy Allen White, The Bear
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS, MUSICAL, COMEDY or DRAMA
Julia Garner, Ozark
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR, MUSICAL, COMEDY or DRAMA
Tyler James Williams, Abbott Elementary
BEST ACTRESS, LIMITED SERIES, ANTHOLOGY SERIES or TV MOVIE
Amanda Seyfried, The Dropout
BEST ACTOR, LIMITED SERIES, ANTHOLOGY SERIES or TV MOVIE
Evan Peters, Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS, LIMITED SERIES, ANTHOLOGY SERIES or TV MOVIE
Jennifer Coolidge, The White Lotus
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR, LIMITED SERIES, ANTHOLOGY SERIES or TV MOVIE
Paul Walter Hauser, Black Bird