Michelle Yeoh, Austin Butler win as Hollywood embraces Golden Globes

January 11, 2023 - 11:00 AM
Michelle Yeoh poses with her award for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy Motion Picture for "Everything Everywhere All at Once" at the 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., January 10, 2023. (Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)

Young “Elvis” star Austin Butler and veteran actress Michelle Yeoh took home top movie awards at the Golden Globes ceremony on Tuesday as Hollywood returned and embraced a show that had been knocked off television by a diversity and ethics scandal.

Butler, 31, was named best actor in a movie drama for playing rock music legend Elvis Presley, and seemed overwhelmed to accept the honor in front of many of the top names in show business.

“I’m in this room with all my heroes,” Butler said. “I can’t believe I’m here.

“Brad (Pitt), I love you. Quentin (Tarantino), I printed out the script of ‘Pulp Fiction’ when I was 12 years old.”

Yeoh, honored for her leading role in dimension-hopping action movie “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” 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.

Colin Farrell won lead actor in a movie musical or comedy for portraying Padraic Suilleabhain, a man trying to repair a soured friendship, in the dark Irish comedy “The Banshees of Inisherin.”

Farrell thanked his fellow cast members, including “Jenny the Donkey.”

Celebrities and broadcaster NBC abandoned the 2022 Globes because of ethical lapses at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the group that hands out the awards.

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 broadcast live on Comcast Corp’s CMCSA.O NBC network and streamed on Peacock.

Other honorees included “Black Panther” actress Angela Bassett, who won a supporting actress award for playing Queen Ramonda in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”

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“We showed the world what Black unity, leadership and love looks like beyond, behind and in front of the camera,” Bassett said as she held her trophy.

The flashy “Elvis” biopic and sci-fi blockbuster “Avatar: The Way of Water” were vying for the top honor of best drama film against Steven Spielberg’s coming-of-age movie “The Fabelmans” and “Tar,” starring Cate Blanchett as a conniving orchestra conductor.

“Top Gun: Maverick” also was in the mix, though the military action film’s chances were likely hurt by star Tom Cruise returning his Globe statues in protest in 2021, awards experts said.

Cruise was reacting to a Los Angeles Times investigation that revealed the HFPA had no Black journalists in its ranks and accused members of soliciting favors from celebrities and movie studios.

In TV categories, “Abbott Elementary” creator and star Quinta Brunson was honored as best actress in a musical or comedy.

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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.