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The Banshees of Inisherin has won three major prizes at the Golden Globes’ comeback ceremony in Los Angeles.

The film took home best comedy or musical film and best screenplay, as well as best comedy actor for its star, Irish actor Colin Farrell.

“I never expect my films to find an audience, and when they do it’s shocking for me,” Farrell said.

Steven Spielberg’s autobiographical The Fabelmans was also one of the big winners, scooping best drama film.

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School-based comedy Abbott Elementary, Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon and satirical dark comedy The White Lotus were among the winners in the television categories.

Most of the winners collected their awards in person, despite speculation that many stars would stay away from this year’s ceremony due to controversy surrounding the organisation behind the Globes.

The event has been under a cloud since its organisers, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), were accused of ethical lapses and a lack of diversity two years ago.

Set on a remote island off the west coast of Ireland, The Banshees of Inisherin tells the story of two friends who fall out after one decides to abruptly end their relationship.

The film sees Farrell reunite with director Martin McDonagh and co-star Brendan Gleeson. The trio previously worked together on the 2007 cult film In Bruges.

Spielberg was named best director for The Fabelmans, which follows a young boy – loosely based on Spielberg himself – who falls in love with film-making.

“I put a lot of things in my way with this story,” he said in his acceptance speech. “I told this story in parts and parcels all through my career but I never had the courage to hit the story head-on.”

Other big film winners included Everything Everywhere All at Once, which saw acting prizes for two of its stars, Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan.

The madcap sci-fi movie sees Yeoh play a laundrette worker who hops through the multiverse exploring different versions of herself.

Accepting her award, Yeoh said: “I turned 60 last year. And I think all of you women understand this: as the days, the years and the numbers get bigger, it seems like opportunities start to get smaller.

“And I probably was at a time when I thought, ‘well hey, you had a really good run, you worked with some of the best people… then along came the best gift – Everything Everywhere All at Once.”

Jennifer Coolidge gave one of the most memorable acceptance speeches, entertaining the audience for almost four minutes after winning one of the TV acting awards for The White Lotus, which was also named best limited TV series.

“I had such big dreams and expectations as a younger person, but they get sort of fizzled by life,” the 61-year-old said. “I thought I was going to be queen of Monaco, even though someone else did it. I had these giant ideas, and then you get older…”

Coolidge said show creator Mike White had “given me hope, a new beginning”.

Elsewhere, Austin Butler held off stiff competition to be named best film drama actor, for his portrayal of singer Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s biopic.

“I owe this to a bold, visionary film-maker who allowed me the experience to take risks and I always knew I would be supported. Baz Luhrmann, I love you,” Butler said. “And lastly, Elvis Presley himself. You were an icon and a rebel.”

Cate Blanchett was named best drama actress for her performance in Tar, but was not present to collect the prize because she is working on a production in the UK.

Kevin Costner, who won best actor in a drama series for Yellowstone, said beforehand he was “so sorry” he wouldn’t make it because of the major flooding currently affecting California.

Other winners who were not at the ceremony included Zendaya, who won best TV drama actress for Euphoria.

Jay Ellis, who announced her award, told the audience: “She’s busy, she’s working, y’all. It’s a good thing.”

Angela Bassett was there to accept the best supporting film actress award for her performance in Wakanda Forever, and used her speech to pay tribute to her late Black Panther co-star Chadwick Boseman.

“We were surrounded each and every day by the light and the spirit of Chadwick Boseman,” she said. “With this historic Black Panther series, it is part of his legacy that he helped to lead us to. We showed the world what black unity, leadership and love looks like beyond, behind and in front of the camera.”

Quan, who acted as a child alongside Harrison Ford in the Steven Spielberg-directed Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, became emotional as he accepted the trophy for best supporting film actor.

“I was raised to never forget where I came from, and to always remember who gave me my first opportunity. I am so happy to see Steven Spielberg here tonight,” he said.

Eddie Murphy accepted the prestigious Cecil B DeMille award, one of the Globes’ outstanding achievement honours, and referenced Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at last year’s Oscars as he gave advice to younger actors.

“To achieve success, prosperity and longevity… you just do these three things,” Murphy said. “Pay your taxes, mind your business, and keep Will Smith’s wife’s name out of your mouth.”

Abbott Elementary was named best comedy series, while two of its stars, Tyler James Williams and Quinta Brunson, took home acting prizes.

Other acting winners in the TV categories included The Bear’s Jeremy Allen White and Ozark’s Julia Garner, who said playing her hugely popular character Ruth Langmore has “been the greatest gift in my life”.

It wasn’t a great night for the UK – there were plenty of nominations for British actors including Olivia Colman, Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Lesley Manville, Bill Nighy and Emma Thompson but all lost out.

Jerrod Carmichael: A brutally honest host

“I’ll tell you why I’m here, I’m here because I’m black,” joked first-time host Jerrod Carmichael as he opened the ceremony – referencing the lack of diversity within the Globes’ voting body which came to light in and expose in the LA Times in 2021.

The US comic’s opening monologue was otherwise quite awkward and short on gags – Carmichael spent much of his time telling the audience to be quiet. But his performance became more assured as the show went on.

Many viewers said they appreciated his willingness to create awkward moments in the room with his often savage and brutally honest one-liners, but others felt his jokes were offensive or in poor taste.

Carmichael referenced the ceremony being held at the Beverly Hilton, describing it as “the hotel that killed Whitney Houston”. He spoke to some stars directly from the stage, telling Rihanna to ignore pressure from fans and take her time with recording her long-awaited next album.

The most risqué jibe came when he suggested that the three Golden Globes which Tom Cruise returned should be “exchanged for the safe return of Shelly Miscavige” – a reference to Scientology leader David Miscavige’s wife, who has not been seen in public since 2007.

Elsewhere, Carmichael recalled the Oscars slap, joking that Smith had won “the Rock Hudson award for best portrayal of masculinity on television”.

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