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» ‘Speech’ Resonates with Oscar Voters, Takes Home 4 Awards

by Howard Burns, published on February 27, 2011

“The King’s Speech,” Tom Hooper’s period piece about Britain’s King George VI and the unflinching speech therapist who helps him overcome a debilitating stammer, was loud and clear the big winner at the 83rd Academy Awards, taking home four statuettes on Sunday night, including honors for Best Picture, Actor in a Leading Role, Direction and Screenplay (Original).

With 12 nominations overall, “The King’s Speech” entered the evening as the favorite to take best picture after overcoming the early awards-season momentum enjoyed by David Fincher’s “The Social Network.”

Colin Firth received the top acting nod, his first, after having been nominated last year for “A Single Man.” Firth led a field that included Jeff Bridges, last year’s best-actor winner for “Crazy Heart” and a nominee for a second consecutive year as well for “True Grit.”

Also winning for the first time was Hooper in the hotly contested directing category. “The King’s Speech’s” run on Oscar gold began when David Seidler won in the writing category for original screenplay. It was the first Oscar for the 73-year-old Seidler, the oldest writer to ever win the award.

Natalie Portman was chosen as the top actress in a lead role for her performance in “Black Swan” as a ballerina whose sanity is put to the test in Darren Aronofsky’s psychological thriller.

A celebration not just of 2010′s top films but of the history of the Oscars, the award for Actress in a Supporting Role was presented by arguably the greatest living actor, 94-year-old Kirk Douglas, to Melissa Leo for her role as Alice Ward, the no-nonsense mother of fighter Micky Ward and his half-brother/trainer Dicky Ecklund in “The Fighter.”

Christian Bale helped “The Fighter” sweep the supporting acting categories by being honored for his portrayal of Ecklund, who was in attendance at Sunday’s ceremony. It was Bale’s first Oscar win.

The winner of four Emmy Awards for his work on television’s “The West Wing,” Aaron Sorkin was awarded his first Oscar for “The Social Network” and his adaptation of Ben Mezrich’s book “The Accidental Billionaires.”

Susanne Bier’s “In a Better World” became the third film from Denmark to win the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. It received the same honor at last month’s Golden Globe Awards.

“Toy Story 3,” also a nominee for Best Picture, won the Academy Award as Best Animated Feature Film for director Lee Unkrich. Meanwhile, Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann won their first Oscars for the animated short “The Lost Thing.”

While falling short in the Best Picture race, Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” nevertheless enjoyed a successful Oscar night. After four nominations, cinematographer Wally Pfister won his first Academy Award for his work on the thriller, which also was honored in the Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Visual Effects categories.

“Inside Job,” Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marr’s cutting examination of the financial meltdown of 2008, was the winner of Oscar in the Documentary (Feature) category. Ferguson noted in his acceptance speech that not one of the bank officials involved in the “horrific” crisis has gone to jail more than two years after the crash of the stock market.

Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross were feted for their original score for “The Social Network,” while 20-time nominee Randy Newman won just his second Oscar for “We Belong Together,” his original song from “Toy Story 3.”

“Alice in Wonderland” started off the evening’s procession of winners by taking the Oscar for art direction. Honored were production designer Robert Stromberg and set decorator Karen O’Hara. Colleen Atwood, the film’s costume designer, also took home an award.

The 83rd Academy Awards were hosted by actors Anne Hathaway and James Franco from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.

A complete list of winners follows.

Actor in a Leading Role
Colin Firth in “The King’s Speech”

Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale in “The Fighter”

Actress in a Leading Role
Natalie Portman in “Black Swan”

Actress in a Supporting Role
Melissa Leo in “The Fighter”

Animated Feature Film
“Toy Story 3” Lee Unkrich

Art Direction
“Alice in Wonderland”
Production Design: Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Karen O’Hara

Cinematography
“Inception” Wally Pfister

Costume Design
“Alice in Wonderland” Colleen Atwood

Directing
“The King’s Speech” Tom Hooper

Documentary (Feature)
“Inside Job” Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs

Documentary (Short Subject)
“Strangers No More” Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon

Film Editing
“The Social Network” Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter

Foreign Language Film
“In a Better World” Denmark

Makeup
“The Wolfman” Rick Baker and Dave Elsey

Music (Original Score)
“The Social Network” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

Music (Original Song)
“We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3″ Music and Lyric by Randy Newman

Best Picture
“The King’s Speech” Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers

Short Film (Animated)
“The Lost Thing” Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann

Short Film (Live Action)
“God of Love” Luke Matheny

Sound Editing
“Inception” Richard King

Sound Mixing
“Inception” Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick

Visual Effects
“Inception” Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
“The Social Network” Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin

Writing (Original Screenplay)
“The King’s Speech” Screenplay by David Seidler

Source: www.movingpicturesnetwork.com

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