George Clooney is really beginning to turn up the heat on his Oscar rivals after landing the Best Actor gong at the National Board of Review Gala in Manhattan on Tuesday evening (January 10, 2012). Clooney picked up the prestigious title for his turn in Alexander Payne's The Descendants.
The actor,50, has been ever-present on the red carpet throughout this year's awards season, and his slew of wins are only strengthening the view that he will firstly pick up an Oscar nomination at the end of the month, and probably take home the honor come February's ceremony. The National Board of Review Awards are announced in advance and Clooney jetted in from the Palm Springs International Film Festival to collect his prize last night. Speaking to Usa Today before the event, the actor joked, "I'm still going to act surprised". His Descendants co-star Shailene Woodley picked up the award for Best Supporting Actress, an honor that will do no harm to her chances of landing an Oscar nomination in the same category. The actress spoke of her delight at knowing she was the winner before the ceremony took place, saying, "It's easier.It eliminates the suspense and cold sweats.But it's not entirely easy: I have to give a speech. I have major stage fright". Unfortunately, she wouldn't enjoy the same relaxed atmosphere if nominated for an Academy Award, and would likely face stiff competition from Octavia Spencer and Vanessa Redgrave. In The Descendants, Clooney plays Honolulu-based land baron Matt King, who attempts to reconnect with his children after the death of his wife in a boating accident. What ensues is a touching and often hilarious movie, with touches of the humor found in Payne's best known work, Sideways.
Clooney, who is likely to nab the Best Actor award at Sunday's Golden Globes (January 15, 2012), recently completed filming on the forthcoming sci-fi thriller Gravity, with SANDRA BULLOCK.