Sylvester Stallone Nabs First Acting Award for Creed

The nod from the National Board of Review fuels speculation that Stallone and Creed will be up for golden statues at next year's Academy Awards.

It’s not quite movie awards season, but the National Board of Review (NBR), a group of 120 film buffs from New York, is getting ahead of the game with the release of its 2015 NBR winners.

The news that has all the film blogs buzzing is that George Miller‘s Mad Max: Fury Road, starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, won Best Film of 2015. (See our review of that here.) But the win that has us most excited is Sylvester Stallone nabbing Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Rocky Balboa in Creed, the seventh installment in the Rocky series.

Though, as Variety reports, their record is spotty, NBR has had some luck predicting Oscar winners — or at least nominees — in years past. Last year, they awarded Julianne Moore Best Actress, and she went on to claim the same accolade at the Academy Awards. So does this mean we’ll be cheering for Stallone and other Creed cast members around Oscar season? Variety thinks so, and so does Vanity Fair. In an article envisioning Creed as a viable contender, writer Katey Rich says she expects to see Stallone among the crop of Best Supporting Actor nominees:

Creed plays with the notion of Rocky Balboa as a real person in our world so effectively that you start to believe it—there’s a real Rocky statue in Philadelphia that we see seemingly real tourists snapping selfies in front of, and everybody in town recognizes Rocky probably as much as they would know the real Stallone. The role is written as a victory lap, but Stallone brings much more to it; it’s clear how much this character still means to him, but also how generous he is as a performer in support of Jordan. Sylvester Stallone hasn’t been Oscar-nominated since the original Rocky, and who doesn’t love a veteran’s comeback narrative?

Our very own Victor Fiorillo praised Stallone’s work, too, saying that he “brings back his old character but doesn’t sleepwalk through the scenes; he actually, you know, acts and does it well.”

The National Board of Review awards will be handed out in New York City on January 5th. Oscar nominations will be announced not long after, at 8:30 am on January 14th. We’ll be keeping our fingers crossed. For the full list of National Board Review winners, go here.

Keep up to date with Ticket’s local arts, culture and events coverage. Here’s how: