National Board of Review Awards
Jennifer Garner and Ellen Page
In the words of newly minted movie star Ellen Page (in Dolce amp Gabbana), the National Board of Review awards gala was nothing short of "Awesome!" After scaled-back versions of other awards ceremonies, Hollywood finally rolled out the red carpet to honor the year's best silver screen performances. "It is my honor and pleasure to present the award for Breakthrough Performance by and Actress to someone who has become the most powerful woman in Hollywood," Page's Juno co-star, Jennifer Garner (in Brian Reyes) told the crowd at New York City's famed Cipriani eatery. Page's reaction to her star introduction? "I wish I could be more articulate," the actress apologized to George Clooney, Julianne Moore, and Kate Winslet and the rest of the audience. "But it’s hard at things like this!"
"I absolutely loved No Country for Old Men, absolutely loved it," declared Kate Winslet before presenting the film's stars, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin and Tommy Lee Jones, with the award for Best Acting by an Ensemble. Winslet herself gave a dazzling performance at the podium, looking glamorous in a Dolce & Gabbana frock accessorized with a stunning diamond necklace on loan from event sponsor Bulgari.
Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas
Accepting his Career Achievement award from Glenn Close (not pictured), Michael Douglas thought back to the set of their 1987 thriller, Fatal Attraction. "Three days in a bathtub with you is something I won't soon forget," Douglas told Close before acknowledging the other influences in his life. The happy husband saved the best compliment for last, telling wife Catherine Zeta Jones; "You’re the best thing that ever happened to me and I love you with all my heart."
After getting a few laughs earlier in the evening when he presented the winner of the Best Adapted Screenplay award, George Clooney showed his sincere side when he accepted his own trophy for Best Actor. "I don’t know what to say," the Michael Clayton star said. "It really is about this beautiful, creative spirit and I’m very proud to be here."
Ellen Page and Emile Hirsch
"I would like to start by just thanking Sean Penn for having faith in me," said Into the Wild star Emile Hirsch-who congratulated Ellen Page on her win before the ceremony began-when he stepped up to the podium to accept the award for Breakthrough Performance by and Actor. "I really feel like he turned my life around in a way. So I’m really happy for that."
Alessandro Nivola and Emily Mortimer
Emily Mortimer (in Chloe) brought along husband Alessandro Nivola for some spousal support when she presented an award to Lars and the Real Girl screenwriter, Nancy Oliver. Other film stars who helped hand out the awards included Lauren Bacall, Julianne Moore and Jessica Lange.
Ben Affleck, Josh Brolin
Best Directorial Debut winner Ben Affleck thanked Josh Brolin for providing one of the most entertaining acceptance speeches of the evening. "I think that we would equally share in this amp#91;awardamp#93; if it weren't for Javier’s freakin’ haircut," Brolin told the crowd when he assumed the role of official representative for himself, Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones, and the rest of the cast of No Country for Old Men.
Javier Bardem and Glenn Close
"It's great to be here tonight honoring the fabulous, sexy, handsome, charismatic, ageless Michael Douglas," said Glenn Close, who also got the chance to chat up the gorgeous Javier Bardem. The two actors also took the opportunity to congratulate each other on their respective Golden Globe wins.
Denzel Washington & More!
"It's my sincere hope that these young people are recognized," said Denzel Washington, who accepted the NBR's Freedom of Expression award for The Great Debaters alongside the film's young stars, Jurnee Smollett (in Valentino) and Nate Parker. "I think their performances are as good as any other this year. In fact, I know they are. I know a little bit about acting!"
Ben Affleck & More!
I kind of wonder what I'm doing here sometimes, in this company of really talented people. So I'm a little humbled by it all." said Best Supporting Actor winner Casey Affleck, who made conversation with Ben, sister in law, Jennifer Garner, and Josh Brolin. That didn't stop the younger Affleck from taking a few shots at his older brother. "Convention dictates that you gotta get up here and praise every decision that the director ever made, but it's getting late and being his brother I find that hard to do," Casey cracked before presenting Ben with the award for Best Directorial Debut.
Jennifer Garner was among the lucky guests who wore jewels on loan from event sponsor Bulgari. The actress paired colorful danurite, spinel and diamond earrings with a platinum and diamond bracelet. Emily Mortimer, Kate Winslet and Jurnee Smollett also accessorized with baubles from the famed jeweler.
For the second year in a row, famed N.Y.C. eatery Cipriani hosted the National Board of Review Awards. After cocktails, guests took their seats for a meal of herb-crusted lamb, ratatouille and chocolate mousse cake before getting down to the business of celebrating the honorees.