King’s Speech reigns over Bafta awards

The King’s Speech has walked away with a clutch of Bafta awards, including best actor for Colin Firth.Helena Bonham Carter was named best supporting actress and Geoffrey Rush picked up best supporting actor.It also won best film, outstanding British film, best score and best original screenplay.Firth, 50, who also won the best actor Bafta last year for A Single Man, joked: “I like coming here.” The film won seven awards in total.Firth is the first star to win the best actor Bafta two years’ running since the late Rod Steiger won back-to-back Baftas for The Pawnbroker in 1967 and In the Heat of the Night in 1968.Bonham Carter, who plays Queen Elizabeth opposite Colin Firth’s King George VI, said: “I’m so used to losing, it’s quite a strange feeling to win.”The film is about the friendship that develops between the King, who has a stammer, and his unorthodox speech therapist, played by Rush.“It’s amazing this little film seems to have spoken to the world and I’m deeply moved by that,” said its writer, David Seidler.”For a stutterer, a stammerer, to be heard is a wonderful thing.”The film’s producers said it could not have been made without the UK Film Council, which is to be abolished.Tanya Seghatchian, Head of the UK Film Council’s Film Fund, said: “The King’s Speech represents a great validation for the UK film industry as a whole and an amazing legacy for the UK Film Council.”But The Social Network’s David Fincher slightly spoiled the King’s Speech party by picking up the award for best director.The film’s stars, Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield, accepted the award on Fincher’s behalf.The movie, about the creation of social networking phenomenen, Facebook, also won the Baftas for best adapted screenplay and best editing.Social Network writer Aaron Sorkin said: “Normally I’d be excited about this but sitting in the seat in front of me was one of the Beatles.”

Sir Paul McCartney had presented the best score award.Ahead of the ceremony, Sorkin said: “It is a huge honour (to be nominated) – if you’re an American writer, what you really want to be is a British writer, and this is as close as I’ll get.”And Natalie Portman, who was not present due to being heavily pregnant, won best actress for her portrayal of a tortured prima ballerina in Black Swan.Director Darren Aronofsky praised her dedication to the role.But it was largely a disappointing night for the film, which had garnered 12 nominations in all.Colin Firth: ””I like coming here, thank you Bafta”Rush was not there to collect his supporting actor award but Bonham Carter thanked the royal family in her acceptance speech.”I think I should thank the Royal family frankly, because they’ve done wonders for my career.”I seem to be playing queens with ever decreasing headsizes,” joked Bonham Carter, who also played the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland.The King’s Speech also won best original score.

Composer Alexandre Desplat, who also wrote the score for The Queen, joked: “I didn’t expect after writing for The Queen to be called for royal duties again.”Unsurprisingly, Toy Story 3 won best animation feature film.The King’s Speech was up for 14 awards in all but missed out in the technical categories.Best foreign film went to the original Swedish version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which was presented by film critic Mark Kermode.The film is based on Swedish crime writer Stieg Larsson’s best-selling novel.Christopher Nolan’s Inception picked up three technical prizes – best sound, production design, and special effects.Tom Hardy, who stars in Inception, won Bafta’s Rising Star award, voted for by the public.Roger Deakins won the best cinematography prize for Western re-make True Grit.Chris Morris’s Four Lions won the outstanding debut prize, although he was not there to collect his award.Prizes for best make-up and hair and best costumes went to Alice in Wonderland.

Until The River Runs Red, made at the National Film and Television School, won best short film, while best short animation went to Michael Please’s The Eagleman Stag.Host of the event at London’s Royal Opera House, Jonathan Ross, opened the evening with a series of quick-fire gags.He told the Americans in the audience at the Covent Garden venue: “This is pretty much what all of Britain looks like apart from one street where Ken Loach lives with Mike Leigh in a council flat.”He promised that controversial Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais would not be allowed into the building.Firth has already won a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild award for his King’s Speech performance, for which he has also received an Oscar nomination.Firth was recognised again last week at the London Film Critics’ Circle awards.Science-fiction blockbuster Inception was up for nine awards, while Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours and Coen brothers western True Grit had eight nominations each.Boyle said ahead of the ceremony that it was “very nice to be included”.”I suspect we’ll be bridesmaids tonight but there’s nothing wrong with bridesmaids,” he added.The event was broadcast on BBC One.The Harry Potter films were honoured for Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema.The books’ writer, JK Rowling, said: “It’s been one of the best experiences of my life.”And Sir Christopher Lee was honoured with the Academy’s prestigious Fellowship, receiving a standing ovation as he took to the stage – BBC