NEW YORK -- "Killers of the Flower Moon" about suspicious deaths on a Native American reservation a century ago earned the top award of "Best Film" from the National Board of Review.
The movie's director Martin Scorsese was called the year's "Best Director."
This gala is one of a series of awards shows leading up to the Oscars in March.
Thursday marked the start of Oscar voting: 9,500 members of the Motion Picture Academy are choosing the lucky few who will be nominated right now, so there was no shortage of star power at Cipriani 42nd Street in Midtown.
The long march to Oscar's red carpet has begun in earnest and the idea is to stay visible while Oscar voting continues.
"What's the secret to doing the marathon?" Sandy Kenyon asked.
"Pacing yourself, not expecting an end result, and just being in the moment, and trying to take really good care of yourself," said Da'Vine Joy Randolph, "The Holdovers."
Randolph earned an award from the National Board of Review for her supporting part as one of "The Holdovers" forced to spend a winter vacation in an empty prep school.
Her co-star Paul Giamatti was recognized by the Board of Review for his lead role and both also earned Golden Globes last Sunday.
"I was nervous because i didn't expect it. I really didn't," Giamatti said.
He's known for being down-to-earth which is why fans were delighted to find him at a burger place with his trophy after the win.
"Were you making a statement there or were you just hungry?" Kenyon asked.
"No, I was just hungry. I just wanted a burger. No statement. Just getting a burger, and that was it," Giamatti said.
Bradley Cooper, who came here to collect an award as an icon wants to make sure "Maestro" remains part of this year's Oscar conversation.
"It may not seem like it but I'm pretty shy person, and it's easier not to do anything, but this year I was like, you know what it's a lot harder to say 'no' than 'yes.' I made like a thing I'm actually just going to say 'yes' honestly, so I'm just going to say 'yes,'" Cooper said.
That's easier for actors, but for those behind the scenes it's a stretch.
"Because I'm a writer. I'm used to being along in my room," said Tony McNamara, a writer.
McNamara wrote the script for my favorite movie of last year, "Poor Things."
"Sometimes it's like, 'Wow, I have to put on a suit again. I wear a suit like once a decade," he said.
Get used to it Tony! I am pulling for you and for "Poor Things" featuring Emma Stone in a twist on the old tale about Frankenstein.
Oscar nominations will be revealed a week from Tuesday. Awards season is in full swing.