National Board of Review Sets New Date for Gala After COVID Postponement

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After the National Board of Review postponed its annual gala amid rising COVID-19 concerns, organizers announced that the event will now take place on Tues. March 15 in New York City.

The awards ceremony was originally scheduled for Jan. 11 but organizers postponed the event in late December as a wave of Hollywood events, including the Critics’ Choice Awards, the BAFTA Los Angeles yearly tea party, and the Palm Springs International Film Festival fete shelved in-person plans amid rising concerns over the rapidly spreading Omicron variant.

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“Out of an abundance of caution and for the health and safety of our guests, members and community, we have made the decision to postpone the NBR’s annual Awards Gala,” NBR president Annie Schulhof said in a statement at the time. “We look forward to celebrating this year’s honorees, safely, at a later time.”

Now that the perennial celebration has a new date, attendees will be required to show proof of vaccination, as NBR follows the latest COVID protocols set by the CDC, NYC and the state of New York.

During the ceremony, Paul Thomas Anderson’s coming-of-age comedy “Licorice Pizza” will be honored as the best film of 2021. The organization will also recognize Anderson as best director and stars Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman for breakthrough performances.

“In a moment of transition and uncertainty, there is nothing like ‘Licorice Pizza’ to remind us of the joy, hope and exhilaration that great cinema can inspire,” Schulhof said when the recipients were first announced.

The NBR honors are voted on by film enthusiasts, professionals, academics, filmmakers and students. Other awards will be given to “King Richard” stars Will Smith (for best actor) and Aunjanue Ellis (for best supporting actress), “West Side Story” breakout Rachel Zegler (for best actress) and “Belfast’s” Ciarán Hinds (for best supporting actor).

See the complete list of winners below:

Best film: Licorice Pizza
Best director: Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza
Best actor: Will Smith, King Richard
Best actress: Rachel Zegler, West Side Story
Best supporting actor: Ciarán Hinds, Belfast
Best supporting actress: Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard
Best original screenplay: Asghar Farhadi, A Hero
Best adapted screenplay: Joel Coen, The Tragedy of Macbeth
Breakthrough performance: Alana Haim & Cooper Hoffman, Licorice Pizza
Best directorial debut: Michael Sarnoski, Pig
Best animated feature: Encanto
Best foreign language film: A Hero
Best documentary: Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)
Best ensemble: The Harder They Fall
Outstanding achievement in cinematography: Bruno Delbonnel, The Tragedy of Macbeth
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: Flee

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