Golden Globes 2023: The Banshees of Inisherin wins three awards as Colin Farrell takes best actor

Martin McDonagh’s film and Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans the big winners as host takes potshots at troubled history of awards

Martin McDonagh’s The Banshees of Inisherin has won three big awards at the 80th Golden Globes ceremony in Los Angeles.

The Irish film beat marginal favourite Everything Everywhere All at Once to best comedy or musical film. Colin Farrell took best actor in a musical or comedy for his touching performance as spurned friend of Brendan Gleeson’s grumpy character. McDonagh secured the prize for best screenplay.

Always a charmer, Farrell addressed his colleagues from the podium. “Martin McDonagh, I owe you so much,” he said. “Fourteen years ago you put me working with Brendan Gleeson, my dance partner, and you changed my life in ways I begrudgingly will be grateful to you for the rest of my days.”

He also had words for costar Barry Keoghan. “When you’re sharing a house with somebody, a word of advice. Don’t eat his Crunchy Nut Cornflakes and leave him with no breakfast,” Farrell said with a smile.


Keoghan and Gleeson were both nominated for Globes, as was Kerry Condon, from Tipperary, but, among the actors, only Farrell could convert on the evening. The Banshees of Inisherin received eight nominations in total, more than any other film.

“As you may know, I wrote this film for the two stars of my film: Jenny the Donkey and Minnie the horse,” McDonagh quipped. He praised “Barry, a new friend who almost stole the movie [and] Kerry, an old friend who did steal the movie.” The Inisherin team now moves forward hopefully to the Oscar nominations on January 24th.

Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans, a touching variation on the director’s upbringing in the 1950s and early 1960s, took the prize for best drama film. On his 20th Globes nomination, Spielberg won best director.

Michelle Yeoh, a veteran of Hong Kong and American cinema, seemed incandescent with joy after picking up best actress in a comedy or musical for the science-fiction comedy Everything Everywhere All at Once. “I turned 60 last year,” she said. “All of you women will understand this – as the days and the years and the numbers get bigger it seems as if opportunities seem to get smaller. Then came the best gift: Everything Everywhere All at Once.”

Ke Huy Quan, who first emerged as the juvenile star of Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom nearly 40 years ago, tweaked tear ducts as he took best supporting actor for his role in the same film. “For so many years I feared I had nothing more to offer,” he said, remembering quiet times after the Indiana Jones film.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which hosts the show, is fighting to regain respectability following years of controversy. Just weeks before the 2021 ceremony, an exposé in the Los Angeles Times revealed there was not a single black person among the 87 voting members and that few of those members wrote for prominent overseas outlets. The report also confirmed that some voters had received lavish gifts. Tom Cruise returned his three Golden Globes in protest and, a year later, the awards were given out quietly in a private ceremony.

The return to a televised ceremony was not without its complications. Brendan Fraser, nominated for his role in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale, had accused former HFPA president Philip Berk of groping him in 2003. The actor announced some weeks ago that he would not be attending. “My mother didn’t raise a hypocrite. You can call me a lot of things, but not that,” he said.

There were no whoops of surprise when, despite Fraser being favourite for the Oscar, Austin Butler beat him to best actor in a drama for his role as the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis. Butler thanked Denzel Washington in a voice eerily similar to the one he used as Presley.

Cate Blanchett was not in the venue to receive a near-inevitable best actress in a drama award for her turn as a morally dubious composer and conductor in Todd Field’s TÁR, but presenter Henry Golding explained she was shooting in the United Kingdom.

Jerrod Carmichael – the highly admired rising African-American comic, a risky choice for host – addressed the scandals in a creatively uncomfortable opening monologue. “I’m not calling the Hollywood Foreign Press racist,” he said. “But they didn’t have a black member until after George Floyd died.” His later quip about broadcasting from “the hotel that killed Whitney Houston” may have been a transgression too far. The singer was indeed found dead in the Beverly Hilton in 2012.

Speculation concerning a wider boycott seems, however, to have come to nothing. The Hilton was scarcely less packed with celebrities than in the Globes’ high period before the scandal. Presenters included Sean Penn, Hilary Swank, Ana da Armas and Quentin Tarantino. Penn was there to introduce a speech by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy. “There will be no third World War, it is not a trilogy,” Zelenskiy said. “Ukraine will stop the Russian aggression on our land.”

The biggest surprise of the evening probably came in the race for film not in the English language. Santiago Mitre’s Argentina, 1985, perhaps the least fancied of the five nominees, passed out admired titles such as SS Rajamouli’s RRR and Edward Berger’s All Quiet on the Western Front to take that Globe. The big winner in the TV section was the amiable comedy Abbot Elementary, which took three Globes.

The Golden Globes have never been such sound predictors of the Oscars as legend suggests. But McDonagh and Farrell certainly have the wind behind them. All four actors seem likely to repeat their nominations at the awards that really matter. Jessie Buckley could also be a contender for best supporting actress for her role in Sarah Polley’s Women Talking, and Paul Mescal stands a chance of a best actor nomination for Charlotte Wells’s Aftersun.

The 80th Golden Globe Awards

  • Best film – musical or comedy: The Banshees of Inisherin.
  • Best film – drama: The Fabelmans.
  • Best animated film: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio.
  • Best original score: Justin Hurwitz, Babylon.
  • Best screenplay: Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin.
  • Best non-English language film: Argentina, 1985 (Argentina).
  • Best actor – musical or comedy: Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin.
  • Best director: Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans.
  • Best supporting actress: Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
  • Best original song: Naatu Naatu, Kala Bhairava, M. M. Keeravani, Rahul Sipligunj (RRR).
  • Best supporting actor: Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once.
  • Best actress – drama: Cate Blanchett, Tár.
  • Best actress – musical or comedy: Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once.
  • Best actor – drama: Austin Butler, Elvis.


  • Best actor in a limited series or TV movie: Evan Peters, Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.
  • Best supporting actor in a limited series or TV movie: Paul Walter Hauser, Black Bird.
  • Best TV series – musical or comedy: Abbott Elementary.
  • Best actress in a limited series or TV movie: Amanda Seyfried, The Dropout.
  • Best actor in a TV series – musical or comedy: Jeremy Allen White, The Bear.
  • Best actress in a limited series or TV movie: Julia Garner, Inventing Anna.
  • Best supporting actress in a limited series or TV movie: Jennifer Coolidge, The White Lotus.
  • Best supporting actress in a TV series: Julia Garner, Ozark.
  • Best limited series or TV movie: The White Lotus: Sicily.
  • Best actress in a TV series – drama: Zendaya, Euphoria.
  • Best actress in a TV series – musical or comedy: Quinta Brunson, Abbott Elementary.
  • Best supporting actor in a TV series: Tyler James Williams, Abbott Elementary.
  • Best TV series – drama: House of the Dragon.
  • Best actor in a TV series – drama: Kevin Costner, Yellowstone.
Donald Clarke

Donald Clarke

Donald Clarke, a contributor to The Irish Times, is Chief Film Correspondent and a regular columnist