National Board of Review Gala was Full of Superlative Speeches [WATCH VIDEO]

By Ambika Thakur | 2 years ago
National Board of Review Gala was Full of Superlative Speeches [WATCH VIDEO]

Luminaries at the Tuesday’s National Board of Review gala knew that they are the winner ahead of time, and thus, having a speech prepared. That preparation resulted in some notable speeches at the ceremony. Three-hour evening was hosted by NBC’s Willie Geist that featured the presentation of 19 awards, the winners of which were announced on Dec. 2, 2014. Read on to learn more about the proverbial vocalizations at the ceremony.

Tuesday night’s 86th annual National Board of Review Awards handed out at the stately Cipiriani 42nd Street restaurant by a 106-year-old group comprised of “knowledgeable film enthusiasts and professionals, academics, young filmmakers and students.” Will Arnett, a voice actor on the animated film “The LEGO Movie,” started the ceremony by presenting the best original screenplay award to that film’s co-writers (and co-directors) Chris Miller and Phil Lord.


Michael Keaton delivered two speeches at the National Board of Review ceremony held at Cipriani, Manhattan. The first time he took the stage was to accept his best actor award for “Birdman,” which he shared with Oscar Isaac (“A Most Violent Year“). In his second speech, Keaton insisted that he had Isaac’s name in his notes, and he’d just forgotten to read that part.

“I don’t want to look like a bigger jerk,” Keaton said. “The longer I stand up here, I’m starting to rethink this whole thing,” said Keaton, as posted by Variety.

Chris Rock won the audience award for “Top Five.” He gave the superlative speech at the ceremony. He addressed the Sony hacking scandal that Hollywood moved up and down. He supported the studio’s chairwoman Amy Pascal and producer Scott Rudin. Rock thinks that Rudin is not a “racist,” but said that Rudin “just “hates everybody.” He also revealed that he auditioned to play Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for director Ava DuVernay. DuVernay won the Freedom of Expression award for “Selma.”

“I would have done ‘Selma,’ but she didn’t pick me,” said Rock. “I came in and looked like I had marched. Nothing. Not a freaking thing,” said Rock.

DuVernay delivered a short speech. It included the subtext of which seemed to have to do with the flack that her film has been taking for its portrayal of Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson. “In a world where one’s freedom of expression can be challenged, strangled, airbrushed, revised, op-

“In a world where one’s freedom of expression can be challenged, strangled, airbrushed, revised, op-eded, blogged about and Tweeted to death, it’s lovely to be here celebrating our right, as artists, to pursue our truth, amplify our voice and embed our ideas in our questions and images that we make.” She added, “That’s the safest thing I can say tonight.”

Best actress Julianne Moore went one further: “This is so much better than the last time I was here presenting and Tommy Lee Jones asked me if I was pregnant. It was just my big puffy dress,” she recalled a funny incident form last year’s ceremony.

The directors of “The Lego Movie,” were the night’s first winners and their speech was, well prepared and long. “I am bored out of my (expletive) mind. Why did the animated people talk so long? The average age in here is 65. None of these people saw your movie! Their kids are 50 years old!” Rock said.

Click HERE to see the full list of nominees. Click here to see the pictures of the gala.

And that’s it for The National Board of Review Awards ceremony update. For more details coming up about the event, stay tuned here on Movie News Guide (MNG).

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Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Thescrutineer