The Golden Globes seek a new redemptive breath
The Golden Globes ceremony made its grand return to television on Tuesday, January 10, and in particular acclaimed director Steven Spielberg, was present in the room alongside many Hollywood heavyweights, despite the scandals that have tarnished the image of these awards.
Steven Spielberg received the Golden Globe for Best Director for his intimate film The Fabelmans, which also won the award for Best Drama.
Steven Spielberg shared the spotlight with the Irish tragicomedy The Banshees of Inisherin. The film, which tells the story of the abrupt end of a friendship on an imaginary island in the 1920s, won three Golden Globes, including best comedy and best actor for Colin Farrell.
Based on Mr. Spielberg’s childhood, The Fabelmans is about a young Jewish American who dreams of making movies in the 1960s, while his parents watch their marriage inexorably unravel.
Steven Spielberg explained that he “never had the courage to face this story head-on.
He admitted that his personal history shows up in fragments in some of his films such as E.T. or Close Encounters of the Third Kind. But the filmmaker, who lost his father in 2020 and his mother in 2017, finally waited until his 75th birthday to really bring his childhood to the screen.
Taken to task by Hollywood stars and deprived of television last year, the Golden Globes event tried to turn the page on accusations of racism, sexism and corruption aimed at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), which forms their jury and had no black members in 2021.
Boycotted in 2022 by the media, NBC agreed this year to resume broadcasting following a series of reforms to improve the HFPA’s diversity.
Everyone was waiting for the reaction of the stars who were invited, to gauge if Hollywood is ready to give the Golden Globes a comeback.
Fortunately, some of them responded and directors James Cameron, nominated for the second part of Avatar, and Guillermo del Toro, who won the award for the best-animated film for his Pinocchio, walked the red carpet. As well as the actor Brad Pitt or the singer Rihanna.
On the other hand, the star who won Best Actress in a Dramatic Film for her role as a ruthless conductor in Tar, Cate Blanchett, was not present to receive her award.
And the list is longer than expected with other winners like Kevin Costner (Yellowstone), Zendaya (Euphoria) and Amanda Seyfried (The Dropout) also absent. So was Tom Cruise, producer of the blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick, who sent back his three Golden Globes in 2021 in protest, or the actor Brendan Fraser, nominated for The Whale.
The star Austin Butler was all smiles before taking the stage to accept his role as best actor in a dramatic film, after his brilliant portrayal of rock’n’roll legend Elvis Presley in the biopic Elvis.
“You were an icon and a rebel, and I love you so much,” said the American actor, addressing directly the deceased singer.
On the comedy side, in addition to Colin Farrell, Michelle Yeoh was voted best actress for her portrayal of a laundry owner immersed in parallel universes in the surreal Everything Everywhere All At Once. The film also earned a Best Supporting Actor award for Vietnamese actor Ke Huy Quan, who plays her husband.
The Golden Globes ceremony did not escape a few jabs from their host, the American comedian Jerrod Carmichael. He began by ironizing the lack of diversity that has turned into a ball and chain for the HFPA.
“I’ll tell you why I’m here. I’m here because I’m black,” he quipped, referring to himself as “the black face of a beleaguered white organization.”
In the face of the scandals, the HFPA has renewed the Golden Globes jury, including 103 newcomers -who are not full members of the association-, including many women and people from ethnic minorities.
“I think we should applaud the fact that an organization is making such radical changes,” said James Cameron, the director of Avatar.
It remains to be seen if this will be enough to bring the Golden Globes back to its former influence. In the past, success at this ceremony was a valuable marketing tool, able to launch a winning campaign towards the supreme award of the Oscars, scheduled for March 12.
But their power of influence now seems to be permanently diminished, according to the specialized press. This year, the studios themselves, which used to drown the winners in champagne, have for the most part given up their sumptuous “after-parties”.