Inside the NBR Awards Gala: Hot Looks, Cool Takes and Loads of Laughs

Elizabeth Olsen, Laura Linney, Bradley Cooper, Paul Giamatti, Michael J. Fox, Jessica Chastain and Anne Hathaway were among those on the National Board of Review red carpet.

(L-R) Laura Linney, Anne Hathaway, and Jessica Chastain. Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for National Board of Review

Award season is just beginning for Da’Vine Joy Randolph, the fresh face in Hollywood that everyone’s been talking about after winning a Golden Globe for her role as Mary Lamb in The Holdovers.

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But she’s handling everything thrown at her like a pro. On the long red carpet for the National Board of Review gala, she graciously spoke with each media outlet even when it was time to take her seat for dinner. Randolph eventually went barefoot as her publicist held her black suede heels.

Presenting Randolph with the Best Supporting Actress Award was her Only Murders in the Building co-star Noma Dumezweni, who played theater critic Maxine on season three.

“I knew of her and admired her from afar,” Randolph, who plays Detective Dee Williams on the hit Hulu show, told Observer about Dumezweni. “And on the first day on set, she was so warm and inviting. We just both gushed over each other and we’ve been fast friends ever since.”

“We’ve got a lovely history of theater stories,” Dumezweni chimed in, adding more details about their friendship. “We met at some point in time, a long time ago. So she asked me to come tonight.”

It was both of their first times at the gala, held at Cipriani 42nd Street.

“This is huge! I didn’t realize how huge it was,” Dumezweni added about the event after seeing stars like Michael J. Fox, Jessica Chastain, Elizabeth Olsen, Laura Linney, Bradley Cooper, Paul Giamatti and Anne Hathaway walk the carpet.

NBC Anchor Willie Geist hosted the ceremony that celebrates the art of cinema, which for the first time recognized Outstanding Achievement in Stunt Artistry. Other 2024 honorees included Cooper, Fox and Giamatti along with Martin Scorsese, Mark Ruffalo and Lily Gladstone.

Willie Geist. Getty Images for National Board

“They say the Golden Globes is the biggest party but that’s on TV so people are a little bit reserved,” Geist told Observer when asked about hosting. “No rules here. People let it rip. They have fun with their friends. Some of their best friends are giving them awards. It’s the best night of the award season.”

Anne Hathaway presented Bradley Cooper (Maestro) with the Icon Award. They became friends in the pandemic when Cooper invited Hathaway’s family over for pizza, which she says he made himself. “As I watched Bradley make pizza for twenty adults and countless clamoring children—never breaking his rhythm, focus or his connection to whomever he was speaking with—I was struck by how rare a creature Bradley is,” she told the crowd.

The National Board of Review Awards Gala
Bradley Cooper and Anne Hathaway. Photo by Nina Westervelt/WWD via Getty Images

The food is the best part of the night, according to Past Lives actor John Magaro, who was previously honored as part of the best ensemble award for Big Short. But getting to hobnob with some of the biggest names in Hollywood is another gem. “I never had the courage to talk to Marty Scorsese. And I always say I don’t know what I’d say to him, but maybe it will happen tonight,” he told Observer.

Then there was Mark Ruffalo, who was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe for his role as Duncan Wedderburn in Poor Things opposite Emma Stone. He told us on the carpet that he “can’t wait for [award season] to be over.”

For Randolph, who was also nominated for a SAG Award this week, it’s clear from her reception at the NBR gala that people are paying attention. Geist confirmed it before heading into the ballroom: “She exploded now and deserves all of it.”

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the luminaries we saw that night:

Mark Ruffalo

The National Board of Review Awards Gala
Photo by Nina Westervelt/WWD via Getty Images

Patti Smith and Lily Gladstone

The National Board of Review Awards Gala
Photo by Nina Westervelt/WWD via Getty Images

Martin Scorsese

2024 National Board Of Review Gala
Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

Amy Sedaris

The National Board of Review Awards Gala
Photo by Nina Westervelt/WWD via Getty Images

Da’Vine Joy Randolph and Noma Dumezweni

The National Board of Review Awards Gala
Photo by Nina Westervelt/WWD via Getty Images

Teyana Taylor

2024 National Board Of Review Gala

Talee Red Corn, William Belleau and Yancey Red Corn

The National Board of Review Awards Gala
Photo by Nina Westervelt/WWD via Getty Images

Laura Linney and Andrew Scott

The National Board of Review Awards Gala
Photo by Nina Westervelt/WWD via Getty Images

John Magaro

The National Board of Review Awards Gala
WWD via Getty Images

Zac Efron

Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for National Board of Review

Celine Song and Zazie Beetz

The National Board of Review Awards Gala
hoto by Nina Westervelt/WWD via Getty Images

Paul Giamatti and Clara Wong

Celebrity Sightings In New York City - January 11, 2024
Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

Elizabeth Olsen

Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for National Board of Review

Bradley Cooper

The National Board of Review Awards Gala
Photo by Nina Westervelt/WWD via Getty Images

Daniel Day Lewis

The National Board of Review Awards Gala
Photo by Nina Westervelt/WWD via Getty Images

Inside the NBR Awards Gala: Hot Looks, Cool Takes and Loads of Laughs