Rachel Zegler to Star in “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes”

It’s (hunger) game on for Rachel Zegler

The 21-year-old half-Colombian American Golden Globe-winning actress/singer and West Side Story star has joined the cast of The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, the highly anticipated prequel to Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games

Rachel Zegler,Zegler is joining the Francis Lawrence-directed film in the lead female role of Lucy Gray Baird.

She joins recently announced Tom Blyth, who’s playing the young Coriolanus Snow, that role made famous by Donald Sutherland in the original trilogy.

Years before he would become the tyrannical President of Panem, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow is the last hope for his fading lineage, a once-proud family that has fallen from grace in a post-war Capitol. With the 10th annual Hunger Games fast approaching, the young Snow is alarmed when he is assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird, the girl tribute from impoverished District 12. But, after Lucy Gray commands all of Panem’s attention by defiantly singing during the reaping ceremony, Snow thinks he might be able to turn the odds in their favor. Uniting their instincts for showmanship and newfound political savvy, Snow and Lucy’s race against time to survive will ultimately reveal who is a songbird, and who is a snake.

“When you read Suzanne’s book, Lucy Gray’s emotional intelligence, physical agility, and fiercely powerful, determined singing voice shine through. Rachel embodies all of those skills – she is the perfect choice for our Lucy Gray,” said Nathan Kahane, president, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group.

“Like everybody, I first saw Rachel Zegler in West Side Story, and like everybody, I knew I was watching a star who would command the screen for a generation,” said Lawrence. “Lucy Gray is a perfect match for her as an actress: the character is bold, independent, and defiant, but also vulnerable, emotional, and loving. Rachel will make this character unforgettable.”

“Lucy Gray is an incredibly complex character, a performer who has to use every skill in her arsenal to survive. Our casting team, Deb Zane and Dylan Jury, spearheaded an exhaustive search, reading hundreds of actors in search of our perfect Lucy Gray. That search ended when Rachel Zegler blew the roof off with her depth and breadth of talent as an actor, singer, and performer. Rachel is utterly compelling; just like Lucy Gray, her voice and charisma command the stage while her inner strength and humanity transform those around her,” said Hunger Games producer Nina Jacobson.

Lionsgate recently announced that the prequel will hit theaters around the world on November 17, 2023.

The entire Hunger Games franchise has grossed more $3 billion worldwide.

Lawrence previously helmed The Hunger Games films Catching Fire, Mockingjay Part One, and Mockingjay Part Two. Jacobson is producing with her partner Brad Simpson, along with Lawrence. Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins, Tim Palen, and Jim Miller will serve as executive producers.

The latest draft of the screenplay is by Michael Lesslie, who is building on the work of Collins and Michael Arndt. The screenplay is based on Collins’ bestselling novel.

Zegler was lauded with Best Actress wins from the National Board of Review and the Golden Globes for her turn as Maria in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story. She is next set to appear in DC Comics’ Shazam! Fury of the Gods alongside Zachary Levi, Helen Mirren, and Lucy Liu, which debuts in December.

She is currently filming the title role in Disney’s live action Snow White, directed by Marc Webb.

Rachel Zegler Earns First Career Golden Globes Nod for “West Side Story”

Rachel Zegler is celebrating a Golden honor…

The 20-year-old half-Colombian American actress/singer, who recently claimed her first-ever major film award from the National Board of Review, has earned her first-ever Golden Globes nomination.

West Side Story, Rachel ZeglerZegler is nominated in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for her lead role in Steven Spielberg’s remake of the classic musical West Side Story.

Meanwhile, Zegler’s co-star in the film, Ariana DeBose has earned her first Golden Globes nod.

The 30-year-old part-Puerto Rican actress is nominated in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture for her role as Anita in West Side Story.

Javier Bardem is back in the running at the Globes.

The Spanish Oscar-winning actor, who won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture in 2007 for No Country for Old Men, is nominated in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama for his portrayal of Desi Arnaz in Being the Ricardos.

Anthony Ramos is taking his career to new heights

The 30-year-old Puerto Rican actor/singer has picked up his first Golden Globes nomination. He’s up for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for his work in In The Heights.

Lin-Manuel Miranda has earned a Golden Globe nod in the Best Original Song – Motion Picture category forDos Oruguitas,” a single from Disney’s Encanto.

Two Latinx composers are nominated in the Best Original Score – Motion Picture category: Germaine Franco for Encanto, and Alberto Iglesias for Parallel Mothers.

MJ Rodriguez leads the pack of Latinx nominees in the television categories…

The 30-year-old half-Puerto Rican actress and singer earned her first-ever Golden Globes nod in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama for her work on FX’s Pose.

Meanwhile, Oscar Isaac is hoping to win a second Globe…

The 42-year-old Guatemalan & Cuban actor, who won a Golden Globe in 2015 for his work in Show Me a Hero, could win another trophy for Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series, Anthology Series, or a Motion Picture Made for Television. He’s nominated in the category again, this time for his performance in Scenes from a Marriage.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which during the past eight months has been reforming its organization in the wake of criticism over a lack of diverse membership, questionable standards and conduct, announced the nominations on Monday for its 2022 Golden Globes.

The event from the Beverly Hilton, presided over by new president Helen Hoehne and Snoop Dogg, who both read the nominations, comes amid fallout that saw studios, networks and top PR firms cut working ties with the organization, and NBC, which broadcasts the Globes each year as a key awards-season stop, decide not to broadcast the 2022 edition.

The 79-year-old HFPA has been making changes since April, expanding its ranks of journalists to include more diverse members, restructuring its board, hiring a chief diversity officer, amending its code of conduct and changing bylaws but is pushing forward with some semblance of awards recognition this season.

In October, interim HFPA CEO Todd Boehly and Hoehne said the group is planning to have some sort of awards ceremony on January 9 despite not having a broadcast home.

“This has been a year of change and reflection for the Hollywood Press Association,” Hoehne said today in opening the nominations ceremony, which was streamed online, adding of the 21 new members “not only have they brought in a fresh perspective, but new ideas that will help us to continue to evolve.”

Here’s the list of this year’s nominees:

MOTION PICTURES

BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
BELFAST, Focus Features
CODA, Apple TV+
DUNE, Warner Bros
KING RICHARD, Warner Bros
THE POWER OF THE DOG, Netflix

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
JESSICA CHASTAIN, THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE
OLIVIA COLMAN, THE LOST DAUGHTER
NICOLE KIDMAN, BEING THE RICARDOS
LADY GAGA, HOUSE OF GUCCI
KRISTEN STEWART, SPENCER

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
MAHERSHALA ALI, SWAN SONG
JAVIER BARDEM, BEING THE RICARDOS
BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH, THE POWER OF THE DOG
WILL SMITH, KING RICHARD
DENZEL WASHINGTON, THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH

BEST MOTION PICTURE – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
CYRANO, MGM
DON’T LOOK UP, Netflix
LICORICE PIZZA, MGM
TICK, TICK…BOOM!, Netflix
WEST SIDE STORY, 20th Century Studios / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
MARION COTILLARD, ANNETTE
ALANA HAIM, LICORICE PIZZA
JENNIFER LAWRENCE, DON’T LOOK UP
EMMA STONE, CRUELLA
RACHEL ZEGLER, WEST SIDE STORY

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
LEONARDO DICAPRIO, DON’T LOOK UP
PETER DINKLAGE, CYRANO
ANDREW GARFIELD, TICK, TICK…BOOM!
COOPER HOFFMAN, LICORICE PIZZA
ANTHONY RAMOS, IN THE HEIGHTS

BEST MOTION PICTURE – ANIMATED
ENCANTO, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
FLEE, Neon / Participant
LUCA, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
MY SUNNY MAAD, Totem Films
RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON, Walt Disney Studios

BEST MOTION PICTURE – NON-ENGLISH LANGUAGE (FORMERLY FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
COMPARTMENT NO. 6 (FINLAND / RUSSIA / GERMANY), Sony Pictures Classics
DRIVE MY CAR (JAPAN), Janus Films
THE HAND OF GOD (ITALY), Netflix
A HERO (FRANCE / IRAN), Amazon Studios
PARALLEL MOTHERS (SPAIN), Sony Pictures Classics

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN ANY MOTION PICTURE
CAITRIONA BALFE, BELFAST
ARIANA DEBOSE, WEST SIDE STORY
KIRSTEN DUNST, THE POWER OF THE DOG
AUNJANUE ELLIS, KING RICHARD
RUTH NEGGA, PASSING

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN ANY MOTION PICTURE
BEN AFFLECK, THE TENDER BAR
JAMIE DORNAN,BELFAST
CIARÁN HINDS, BELFAST
TROY KOTSUR, CODA
KODI SMIT-MCPHEE, THE POWER OF THE DOG

BEST DIRECTOR – MOTION PICTURE
KENNETH BRANAGH, BELFAST
JANE CAMPION, THE POWER OF THE DOG
MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL, THE LOST DAUGHTER
STEVEN SPIELBERG, WEST SIDE STORY
DENIS VILLENEUVE, DUNE

BEST SCREENPLAY – MOTION PICTURE
PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON, LICORICE PIZZA
KENNETH BRANAGH, BELFAST
JANE CAMPION, THE POWER OF THE DOG
ADAM MCKAY,DON’T LOOK UP
AARON SORKIN, BEING THE RICARDOS

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – MOTION PICTURE
ALEXANDRE DESPLAT, THE FRENCH DISPATCH
GERMAINE FRANCO, ENCANTO
JONNY GREENWOOD, THE POWER OF THE DOG
ALBERTO IGLESIAS, PARALLEL MOTHERS
HANS ZIMMER, DUNE

BEST ORIGINAL SONG – MOTION PICTURE
“BE ALIVE” — KING RICHARD, Music by: Dixson, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Lyrics by: Dixson, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter
“DOS ORUGUITAS” — ENCANTO, Music by: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Lyrics by: Lin-Manuel Miranda
“DOWN TO JOY” — BELFAST, Music by: Van Morrison, Lyrics by: Van Morrison
“HERE I AM (SINGING MY WAY HOME)” — RESPECT, Music by: Carole King, Jennifer Hudson, Jamie Hartman, Lyrics by: Carole King, Jennifer Hudson, Jamie Hartman
“NO TIME TO DIE” — NO TIME TO DIE, Music by: Billie Eilish, Finneas O’Connell, Lyrics by: Billie Eilish, Finneas O’Connell

TELEVISION

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
LUPIN, NETFLIX
THE MORNING SHOW, APPLE TV+
POSE, FX
SQUID GAME, NETFLIX
SUCCESSION, HBO/HBO MAX

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
UZO ADUBA, IN TREATMENT
JENNIFER ANISTON, THE MORNING SHOW
CHRISTINE BARANSKI, THE GOOD FIGHT
ELISABETH MOSS, THE HANDMAID’S TALE
MICHAELA JAÉ RODRIGUEZ, POSE

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
BRIAN COX, SUCCESSION
LEE JUNG-JAE, SQUID GAME
BILLY PORTER, POSE
JEREMY STRONG, SUCCESSION
OMAR SY, LUPIN

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
THE GREAT, HULU
HACKS, HBO/HBO MAX
ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING, HULU
RESERVATION DOGS, FX
TED LASSO, APPLE TV+

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
HANNAH EINBINDER, HACKS
ELLE FANNING, THE GREAT
ISSA RAE, INSECURE
TRACEE ELLIS ROSS, BLACK-ISH
JEAN SMART, HACKS

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
ANTHONY ANDERSON, BLACK-ISH
NICHOLAS HOULT, THE GREAT
STEVE MARTIN, ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING
MARTIN SHORT, ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING
JASON SUDEIKIS, TED LASSO

BEST TELEVISION LIMITED SERIES, ANTHOLOGY SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
DOPESICK, HULU
IMPEACHMENT: AMERICAN CRIME STORY, FX
MAID, NETFLIX
MARE OF EASTTOWN, HBO/HBO MAX
THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD, AMAZON PRIME VIDEO

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES, ANTHOLOGY SERIES, OR A MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
JESSICA CHASTAIN, SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE
CYNTHIA ERIVO, GENIUS: ARETHA
ELIZABETH OLSEN,WANDAVISION
MARGARET QUALLEY, MAID
KATE WINSLET, MARE OF EASTTOWN

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES, ANTHOLOGY SERIES, OR A MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
PAUL BETTANY, WANDAVISION
OSCAR ISAAC, SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE
MICHAEL KEATON, DOPESICK
EWAN MCGREGOR, HALSTON
TAHAR RAHIM, THE SERPENT

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE ON TELEVISION
JENNIFER COOLIDGE, THE WHITE LOTUS
KAITLYN DEVER, DOPESICK
ANDIE MACDOWELL, MAID
SARAH SNOOK, SUCCESSION
HANNAH WADDINGHAM, TED LASSO

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE ON TELEVISION
BILLY CRUDUP, THE MORNING SHOW
KIERAN CULKIN, SUCCESSION
MARK DUPLAS, THE MORNING SHOW
BRETT GOLDSTEIN, TED LASSO
O YEONG-SU, SQUID GAME

“West Side Story” Star Rachel Zegler Earns First-Ever Major Film Award from National Board of Review

Rachel Zegler is celebrating a major first…

The 20-year-old half-Colombian American actress/singer has received the first-ever major film award from the National Board of Review.

West Side Story, Rachel Zegler Zegler, a Hollywood newcomer, was named Best Actress for her leading role as Maria in Steven Spielberg‘s critically lauded big-screen update of the Stephen Sondheim classic West Side Story.

Established in 1909 by theater owners fighting the revoking of exhibition licenses by New York City officials, the NBR is now comprised of film enthusiasts, academics, and other movie professionals working inside the industry. In recent years, it has evolved into a vital stepping stone (and visibility booster) on the path to potential Oscar glory for would-be contenders.

Here’s the full list of the 2021 National Board of Review 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
Best Ensemble: The Harder They Fall
Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography: Bruno Delbonnel — The Tragedy of Macbeth
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: Flee
Top Films (in alphabetical order)
Belfast
Don’t Look Up
Dune
King Richard
The Last Duel
Nightmare Alley
Red Rocket
The Tragedy of Macbeth
West Side Story

Top 5 Foreign Language Films (in alphabetical order)
Benedetta
Lamb
Lingui, The Sacred Bonds
Titane
The Worst Person in the World

Top 5 Documentaries (in alphabetical order)
Ascension
Attica
Flee
The Rescue
Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain

Top 10 Independent Films (in alphabetical order)
The Card Counter
C’mon C’mon
CODA
The Green Knight
Holler
Jockey
Old Henry
Pig
Shiva Baby
The Souvenir Part II

National Board of Review Names Jayro Bustamante’s “La Llorona” Best Foreign Language Film

Jayro Bustamante is celebrating a big honor…

The National Board of Review has announced its award winners for 2020, with the 46-year-old Guatemalan film director and screenwriter earning a prize.

Jayro Bustamante

Bustamante’s La Llorona took home the award for Best Foreign Language Film.

La Llorona centers on an aging paranoid war criminal, protected by his faithful wife, who faces death while being haunted by the ghosts of his past.

Meanwhile, Maite Alberdi‘s The Mole Agent was named to the NBR‘s Top 5 Foreign Language Films list.

The film centers on an 83-year-old man who poses as a resident in a Chilean nursing home to see if he can find signs of abuse.

Here’s the full list of NBR winners:

Best Film
DA 5 BLOODS

Best Director
Spike Lee, DA 5 BLOODS

Best Actor
Riz Ahmed, SOUND OF METAL

Best Actress
Carey Mulligan, PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

Best Supporting Actor
Paul Raci, SOUND OF METAL

Best Supporting Actress
Youn Yuh-jung, MINARI

Best Adapted Screenplay
Paul Greengrass & Luke Davies, NEWS OF THE WORLD

Best Original Screenplay
Lee Isaac Chung, MINARI

Breakthrough Performance
Sidney Flanigan, NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS

Best Directorial Debut
Channing Godfrey Peoples, MISS JUNETEENTH

Best Animated Feature
SOUL

Best Foreign Language Film
LA LLORONA

Best Documentary
TIME

NBR Icon Award
Chadwick Boseman

NBR Freedom of Expression Award
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI

NBR Spotlight Award
Radha Blank for writing, directing, producing and starring in THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION

Best Ensemble
DA 5 BLOODS

Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography
Joshua James Richards, NOMADLAND

Top Films
(in alphabetical order)
First Cow
The Forty-Year-Old Version
Judas and the Black Messiah
The Midnight Sky
Minari
News of the World
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman
Soul
Sound of Metal

Top 5 Foreign Language Films
(in alphabetical order)
Apples
Collective
Dear Comrades
The Mole Agent
Night of the Kings

Top 5 Documentaries
(in alphabetical order)
All In: The Fight for Democracy
Boys State
Dick Johnson is Dead
Miss Americana
The Truffle Hunters

Top 10 Independent Films
(in alphabetical order)
The Climb
Driveways
Farewell Amor
Miss Juneteenth
The Nest
Never Rarely Sometimes Always
The Outpost
Relic
Saint Frances
Wolfwalkers

Guillermo del Toro Named Best Director at This Year’s Golden Globes

It’s a long overdue first for Guillermo del Toro

The 53-year-old Mexican filmmaker picked up his first Golden Globe trophy at Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards.

Guillermo del Toro

del Toro, who’d never been nominated before this year, took home the trophy for Best Director, for his inspired work on The Shape of Water.

Known for his work on monster movies like Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth and Blade, del Toro is considered a master of the genre.

In The Shape of Water, he continues in that same world, telling the story of a lonely janitor who forms a unique relationship with an amphibious creature that is being held captive. It was originally conceived with 1960s monster movies in mind, but transformed into something quite different as the deep relationship between its characters evolved.

“Since childhood, I’ve been faithful to monsters,” said del Toro in his acceptance speech, calling them “patron saints of imperfection.” del Toro noted that he has spent 25 years handcrafting “very strange little tales” that ultimately “have saved my life.”  He closed by noting, “My monsters thank you.”

Meanwhile, Disney/Pixar’s hit Coco was named Best Animated Feature. The film’s director Lee Unkrich gave a shout-out “to the incredible people of Mexico” without whom he said the film would not exist.

The win follows best animated film honors from the National Board of Review and the New York Film Critics Circle.

Coco takes place during the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos. Directed by Unkrich and Adrian Molina, Coco follows a young boy, Miguel, who wishes to be a star-studded crooner of standards, just like his grandfather, the legendary singer Ernesto de la Cruz. However, music is of the devil in Miguel’s family, and de la Cruz is largely to blame for the curse. In order to make generational events correct, Miguel finds himself on the other side of life with relatives he’s only heard stories about.

The 75th anniversary Golden Globe Awards were handed out at the Beverly Hilton..

Here’s the full list of winners:

Best Motion Picture, Drama: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Best Actress, Motion Picture Drama
: Frances Mcdormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Best Actor, Motion Picture Drama
: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Best Motion Picture, Musical/Comedy
: Lady Bird, Iac Films; A24
Best Actress, Motion Picture – Comedy
: Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
Best Direction, Film
: Guillermo Del Toro, The Shape Of Water
Best Limited TV Series/Made For TV Movie
: Big Little Lies, HBO, HBO Entertainment / David E. Kelly Productions / Pacific Standard / Blossom Films
Best TV Series, Comedy/Musical
: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Amazon, Amazon Studios
Best Actor, Limited Tv Series/Made For TV Movie: 
Ewan Mcgregor, Fargo
Best Screenplay, Motion Picture
: Martin Mcdonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Best Supporting Actress, Motion Picture
: Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Best Animated Film
: Coco, Pixar Animation Studios; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Best Supporting Actress TV Series/Limited Series/Tv Movie
: Laura Dern, Big Little Lies
Best Actor Motion Picture, Musical/Comedy
: James Franco, The Disaster Artist
Best Original Song, Film
: “This Is Me” — The Greatest Showman, Music By: Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, Lyrics By: Benj Pasek, Justin Paul
Best Original Score, Film
: Alexandre Desplat, The Shape Of Water
Best Supporting Actor, TV Series/Limited Series/Made For TV Movie
: Alexander Skarsgård, Big Little Lies
Best TV Series, Drama: 
The Handmaid’s Tale, Hulu, MGM
Best Actor, TV Series – Drama
: Sterling K. Brown This Is Us
Best Actress TV Series, Drama
: Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale
Best Actress TV, Musical/Comedy:
 Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Best Supporting Actor, Film:
 Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Best Actress Limited Series TV:
 Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies

Isaac Named This Season’s Best Actor by the National Board of Review

It’s a most memorable year for Oscar Isaac

The National Board of Review has bestowed its Best Actor honors to the 33-year-old Guatemalan and Cuban American actor for his performance in J.C. Chandor’s A Most Violent Year.

Oscar Isaac in A Most Violent Year

The crime drama about thuggish New Jersey-New York oil cartels was also chosen as the Best Film of 2014.

Isaac tied with Birdman star Michael Keaton for the Best Actor honors.

Clint Eastwood was named Best Director for American Sniper, his biopic of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle.

In all, A Most Violent Year grabbed three awards, including Best Supporting Actress for Jessica Chastain.

A Most Violent Year is an exhilarating crime drama with a compelling story, outstanding performances and an elegant cinematic style,” National Board of Review president Annie Schulhof said in a statement. “J.C. Chandor has given us a new and provocative perspective on the American Dream.”

Established in 1909, the National Board of Review is a nonprofit organization comprising knowledgeable film enthusiasts, professionals, academics, young filmmakers and students. The group’s awards will be handed out January 6 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. Lara Spencer will host the event.

Here’s the complete list of winners:

Best Film: A Most Violent Year
Best Director: Clint Eastwood, American Sniper
Best Actor (TIE): Oscar Isaac, A Most Violent Year; Michael Keaton, Birdman
Best Actress: Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Best Supporting Actor: Edward Norton, Birdman
Best Supporting Actress: Jessica Chastain, A Most Violent Year
Best Original Screenplay: Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, The Lego Movie
Best Adapted Screenplay: Paul Thomas Anderson, Inherent Vice
Best Animated Feature: How to Train Your Dragon 2
Breakthrough Performance:  Jack O’Connell, Starred Up & Unbroken
Best Directorial Debut:  Gillian Robespierre, Obvious Child
Best Foreign Language Film: Wild Tales
Best Documentary: Life Itself
William K. Everson Film History Award: Scott Eyman
Best Ensemble: Fury
Spotlight Award: Chris Rock for writing, directing and starring in Top Five
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: Rosewater
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: Selma

Top Films
American Sniper
Birdman
Boyhood
Fury
Gone Girl
The Imitation Game
Inherent Vice
The Lego Movie
Nightcrawler
Unbroken 

Top 5 Foreign Language Films
Force Majeure
Gett: The Trial of Vivian Amsalem
Leviathan
Two Days, One Night
We Are the Best!

 Top 5 Documentaries
Art and Craft
Jodorowsky’s Dune
Keep On Keepin’ On
The Kill Team
Last Days in Vietnam

Top 10 Independent Films
Blue Ruin
Locke
A Most Wanted Man
Mr. Turner
Obvious Child
The Skeleton Twins
Snowpiercer
Stand Clear of the Closing Doors
Starred Up
Still Alice

Rodriguez to Perform on the Festival Circuit

Call it the second coming of Sixto Rodríguez

The 70-year-old Mexican-American singer/songwriter, the man at the center of Malik Bendjelloul‘s Oscar-nominated documentary Searching for Sugar Man, has lined up festival dates lined up at Coachella, Glastonbury and Primavera in Spain that will follow tours of South Africa and Australia.

Rodriguez

The new dates are part of Rodriguez’s astonishing rediscovery after releasing two albums for Clarence Avant‘s Sussex label in the early 1970s that didn’t sell anywhere except in South Africa where his legend grew along with his record sales.

Bendjelloul’s documentary, which will be released on DVD on January 22, chronicles the myths and realities of Rodriguez’s story and his 1998 concerts in South Africa.

“It’s a different level that we’re at now,” Rodriguez said during a recent visit to Los Angeles to perform on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. “I can’t imagine it getting much busier. This is pretty busy. You gotta stay balanced and normalized, pace yourself. At this late date I have a new perspective on things because of the success of the music now.”

The demand for Rodriguez has picked up dramatically in the last year for Rodriguez, who had done a few club performances per year since 2008 when Light in the Attic re-released his two albums, Cold Facts and Coming From Reality. Rodriguez appeared at film festivals like Sundance and SXSW in early 2012 and performed solo at most of his shows. He has been using various bands to back him since moving up to larger clubs and small theaters in the fall.

“We did 13 dates in the UK, all 3,000-seaters, and when we go back it will be Royal Albert Hall,” Rodriguez says.

60 Minutes, which did a piece on Rodriguez prior to the film opening, has contacted him again about possibly chronicling his tour of South Africa in February.

Besides the Oscar nomination, Searching for Sugar Man is up for BAFTA, Producers Guild and WGA awards. It won the International Documentary Association‘s best feature and best music awards and the National Board of Review named it the best documentary of the season.

“Searching for Sugar Man” Wins Int’l.Documentary Assoc. Honors

Rodriguez’s Searching For Sugar Man has picked up its latest awards…

The documentary, written and directed by Malik Benjelloul, was named best feature over the weekend at the International Documentary Association Awards.

Searching for Sugar Man

Searching for Sugar Man, which tells the story of Mexican-American singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez, also picked up the award for Best Music, for Rodriguez’s songs featured in the film and Benjelloul’s score.

The film was named best documentary earlier this week by the National Board of Review. And, the Producers Guild of America has nominated the film for the same honor, as well as the International Press Academy.

Searching for Sugar Man has made the list of 15 documentary feature finalists in the hunt for that coveted Oscar nomination.

 

“Searching for Sugar Man” Honored by the National Board of Review

Searching for Sugar Man is continuing to gain momentum in its quest to land an Oscar nomination…

Rodriguez

The moving film about Mexican American folk singer Rodriguez, who has been dubbed the greatest ’70s U.S. rock icon who never was, has been named the Best Documentary by the National Board of Review.

In recent weeks, Searching for Sugar Man has picked up Best Documentary nods from the International Press Academy, the Producers Guild of America and the International Documentary Association.

The National Board of Review’s awards will be handed out on January 8 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City in a gala hosted by Meredith Vieira.