Academy Awards round up

 

‘The King’s Speech’ wins Best Picture and Best Actor; Natalie Portman wins Best Actress for ‘Black Swan’

By Rene Rodriguez | rrodriguez@MiamiHerald.com

The showdown between the two most heavily favored contenders going into the 83rd Academy Awards — The King’s Speech and The Social Network — was won by the former. The story of the relationship between King George VI of Britain and the therapist who helped him overcome his stammer won four Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor.

The Social Network, the critically-beloved film that dramatized the story behind the creation of the popular website Facebook, had to settle for three Oscars, including Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Editing.

As expected, The King’s Speech Colin Firth won the Best Actor Oscar. “I have a feeling my career just peaked,” the actor joked. “I have to warn you I am experiencing stirrings — somewhere in the upper abdominals — which are threatening to form themselves into dance moves. Joyous as they may be for me, it would be extremely problematic if they make it to my legs before I get off stage.”

First-time nominee Tom Hooper, in accepting his Oscar for Best Director, thanked his cast and producers but saved a special thank-you to his mom, who in 2007 attended a reading in London of an unproduced, unknown play called The King’s Speech. “[Afterward], she rang me up and said ‘Tom, I think I found your next film,’” Hooper said. “The moral of the story is: Listen to your mother.”

Natalie Portman won Best Actress for her portrayal of a ballerina slowly going mad from the demands of her latest role in Black Swan. “This is insane,” a tearful Portman said. “I want to thank my parents for giving me the life I’ve had, giving me the opportunity to work from such an early age and showing me every day how to be a good human being by example. [Director] Darren Aronofsky, you are a fearless leader and a visionary. I’m blessed to just have gotten to work with you.”

The boxing drama The Fighter pulled a TKO in the secondary acting categories. Christian Bale won Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of fallen boxing champ Dicky Edlund. “Bloody hell. Wow. What a roomful of talent and inspirational people, and what the hell am I doing here, in the midst of you?” said Bale, who grew more emotional as his speech went on and called out the real-life Dicky, who was in the audience, to stand up and take a bow. “He’s had a wonderful story, and I can’t wait to see the next chapter.”

Ninety-four-year-old Kirk Douglas received the evening’s first standing ovation when he took the stage to present the Best Supporting Actress Oscar to Melissa Leo, who stayed true to her character in The Fighter of a rough-and-tumble working-class mom by dropping the evening’s first F-bomb during her acceptance speech.

“Will you pinch me?” Leo asked Douglas as she took the stage. “I know there’s a lot of people who said really nice things to me for several months now, but I’m just shaking in my boots now.”

Leo, who had been previously nominated in 2009 for her performance in Frozen River but lost to Kate Winslet, seemed awed by the view from the stage. “When I watched Kate [up here] two years ago, it looked so [F-bomb] small.”

The Social Network screenwriter Aaron Sorkin spit out words in the same rapid-fire manner as his characters — and kept on talking right over the orchestra indicating his time was up — when he accepted the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar.

“It’s impossible to describe what it feels like to be handed the same award that was given to Paddy Chayefsky 35 years ago for another movie with ‘network’ in the title,” Sorkin said, referring to Chayefsky’s 1976 classic Network. “I wrote this movie, but David Fincher made this movie, and he did it with an ungodly artfulness. Someone this talented has no business being the nicest guy in the world, but he is, and he made the movie of any screenwriter’s dreams.”

Looking deliriously happy, first-time nominee David Seidler accepted the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for The King’s Speech. “The writer’s speech: This is terrifying,” joked the 73 year-old Seidler. “My father always said to me I would be a late bloomer. I believe I am the oldest person to ever win this award. I hope that record is broken quickly and often.”

Inside Job, director Charles Ferguson’s expose of the recent economic meltdown, won Best Documentary. “Forgive me: I must start by pointing out that three years after a horrific financial crisis caused by massive fraud, not a single financial executive has gone to jail,” Ferguson began. “But this is also about the movies. In fact that’s what this is. Thank you all for this profound honor.”

The box-office smash Inception won four Oscars, including Best Cinematography for Wally Pfister, who beat out nine-time nominee Roger Deakins ( True Grit), still awaiting his first Academy Award. Another popular hit, Alice in Wonderland, won Oscars for Best Costume Design and Best Art Direction.

Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier, who will be honored March 6 with a Career Achievement Tribute at the Miami International Film Festival, accepted the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar for In a Better World. “I am so truly honored and grateful and happy,” said a stunned-looking Bier, who thanked her fellow nominees and her creative partners in the United States and in Denmark. “This one belongs to you as much as it belongs to me.”

Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross won Best Original Score for the unusual electronic soundtrack they created for The Social Network. “Wow. Is this really happening?” Reznor said. “When we finished work on The Social Network, we were very proud of our work and happy to just be involved in this film. To be standing up here in this company is humbling and flattering beyond words.”

The blockbuster Toy Story 3, a Best Picture nominee, had to settle for two other Oscars instead, Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song for Randy Newman’s We Belong Together. “I’m very grateful for this and surprised,” Newman said. “I’ve been nominated 20 times and this is my second [victory].”

Strangers No More, the winner of the Best Documentary Short Subject Oscar, about a Tel Aviv school attended by children from around the world, had a local connection: The film’s executive producer is Lin Arison, a longtime arts patron and widow of Ted Arison, founder of Carnival Cruise Lines.

Co-hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway, who hosted the awards in a much-hyped stroke of marketing genius, opened the telecast by appearing within scenes of several of the Best Picture nominees. The duo engaged in playful, if uninspired, banter throughout the show. “Anne, I must say, you look so beautiful and so hip,” Franco said. “Thank you, James. You look very appealing to a younger demographic as well,” Hathaway shot back.

Franco, a Best Actor nominee for 127 Hours, joked, “It’s very exciting for both of us because we’re both nominated.” Hathaway, who went the full monty in Love and Other Drugs but failed to get nominated, corrected him. “It used to be, you get naked, you get nominated. Not any more!”

Later, Franco resorted to the age-old gag of donning drag, appearing onstage in a pink dress and blond wig dressed as Marilyn Monroe. “The weird part is, I just got a text message from Charlie Sheen,” he joked.

The winners

The list of winners from Sunday night’s Oscars ceremony:

Partial list of 83rd Annual Academy Award winners announced Sunday:

1. Art Direction: “Alice in Wonderland.”

2. Cinematography: “Inception.”

3. Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo, “The Fighter.”

4. Animated Short Film: “The Lost Thing.”

5. Animated Feature Film: “Toy Story 3.”

6. Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, “The Social Network.”

7. Original Screenplay: David Seidler, “The King’s Speech.”

8. Foreign Language: “In a Better World,” Denmark.

9. Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, “The Fighter.”

10. Original Score: “The Social Network,” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

11. Sound Mixing: “Inception.”

12. Sound Editing: “Inception.”

13. Makeup: “The Wolfman.”

14. Costume Design: “Alice in Wonderland.”

15. Documentary (short subject): “Strangers No More.”

16. Live Action Short Film: “God of Love.”

17. Documentary Feature: “Inside Job.”

Oscar goes to...

A look at some of the winners:

Supporting actress

Melissa Leo, ‘The Fighter’

Supporting actor

Christian Bale, ‘The Fighter’

Original screenplay

David Seidler, ‘The King’s Speech’

Adapted screenplay

Aaron Sorkin, ‘The Social Network’

Animated feature film

‘Toy Story 3’

Best documentary short

‘Strangers No More’

More coverage

More results at Miami

Herald.com/entertainment

• The full list of winners, 9A

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