Halle Berry

Call It Talent
On the Green

Story and Photos by Polly Van Raalte

HE Who’s Who of the film world descended on world famous Tavern on the Green in Central Park as they honored their own at the 2001 National Board of Review Awards. Master of ceremonies was the Pickle Man himself, Peter Riegert (Crossing Delancey). Between presentations, he tried out some jokes. Better he should stick to the script, or pickles.

A newly bearded Stanley Donen presented Baz Luhrmann with the Best Film award for Moulin Rouge.

Arthur Cohn

It was great to see the stars of Monster’s Ball, Billy Bob Thornton and Halle Barry. What a powerful film!

Billy Bob received his award from F. Murray Abraham who had his son Mick with him.

Ever handsome Hugh Jackman gave Halle her award. You could see it was mutual admiration.

Jim Broadbent of Moulin Rouge and Iris got the Best Supporting Actor award from Richard Eyre. A gorgeous Cate Blanchett of The Man Who Cried, Shipping News and The Lord of the Rings received Best Supporting Actress award from costar John Turturro.

Marisa Tomei, seen In the Bedroom, gave the award to her Best Director Todd Field.

Steven Spielberg and wife
Kate Capshaw

A very special NBR moment was when talented musician Itzhak Perlman presented John Williams with a Career Achievement award for film music composition. We all stood and gave Perlman a heartfelt ovation. “I’m not getting an award,” he said, and we all smiled. He should.

A very bald Daniel Day Lewis presented the William K. Everson Award for Film History to Martin Scorsese for his Il Mio Viaggio in Italia.

Awards for breakthrough performers were given by Kevin Kline to Hayden Christensen for Life As a House and by David Lynch to Naomi Watts for Mulholland Drive.

Jon Voight

An extremely entertaining video presentation of his work accompanied Steven Spielberg as he received the Billy Wilder Award for excellence in directing from the versatile actress Meryl Streep. She thanked him for letting her be the blue fairy voice in his latest film AI.

Special mention must be made of producer Arthur Cohn who received the National Board of Review Humanitarian Award. He told us to “never forget our roots, have wisdom of life, and be faithful to yourselves in dignity.”

We were so touched as Al Pacino handed the NBR Career Achievement Award to the incredible actor Jon Voight.

Ben Kingsley

Pacino, who mentioned how much he loved Voight, remarked about the enormous amount of time Jon spends getting into a role.  What a night!

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