Colin Firth, J.K. Rowling Noteworthy Bafta Ceremony Speeches

Bafta winners Colin Firth The King's Speech Helena Bonham Carter Geoffrey RushBafta winners Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush in 'The King's Speech.'

'The King's Speech' tops Bafta Awards, Colin Firth Best Actor

Tom Hooper's The King's Speech was the big winner at the British Academy Awards a.k.a. Bafta Awards (or simply Baftas), held this evening, Feb. 13, '11, at London's Royal Opera House. But the period drama's domination wasn't exactly a “clean sweep.”

The tale of how King George VI lost his stutter, The King's Speech won a total of seven Baftas: Best Film, Best British Film, Best Actor (Colin Firth), Best Supporting Actor (Geoffrey Rush), Best Supporting Actress (Helena Bonham Carter), Best Original Screenplay (David Seidler), and Best Original Score (Alexandre Desplat).

That's not bad at all. Yet the Best Director Bafta went to David Fincher for the U.S.-made The Social Network, which also won awards for Best Adapted Screenplay (Aaron Sorkin) and – beating The King's Speech – Best Editing (Angus Wall, Kirk Baxter).

Tom Hooper as 'thorough' as 'not very edifying medical appointment'

At the Bafta ceremony, after winning his second consecutive Best Actor award Colin Firth opted to provide what some would call TMI. His speech included the following revelation:

The day I first sat down with (director) Tom Hooper I had to postpone a routine but not very edifying medical appointment. But as the work went on it became apparent that Tom's methods were every bit as thorough, surprising and effective as the ones I thought I had avoided.

Last year, Firth took home a Bafta statuette for his performance in Tom Ford's A Single Man.

Hollywood story in London

Tom Hooper came up with a Hollywood-style story to explain the success of The King's Speech. While accepting the Best British Film Award, Hooper told the Royal Opera House crowd:

This film began with a little boy with a stammer listening to the radio and thinking, if the King of England can do it then so can I, and that boy was our writer David Seidler.

Seidler, for his part, remarked, “Let me tell you that for a stutterer, a stammerer, to be heard is a wonderful thing.”

Natalie Portman Black Swan ballerina unbalancedNatalie Portman as unbalanced 'Black Swan' ballerina.

Natalie Portman Best Actress

The Best Actress – hardly an unexpected choice – was Natalie Portman for Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan. Lee Unkrich's Disney / Pixar release Toy Story 3 was the Best Animated Feature winner, while Four Lions director / co-screenwriter Chris Morris won the Bafta for Outstanding Debut.

Tim Burton, who presented the British Academy of Film's Fellowship Award to veteran Christopher Lee (The Horror of Dracula, The Wicker Man), had one of his own efforts recognized by the Baftas: the 3D-converted fantasy Alice in Wonderland won two awards, Best Make-Up and Hair and Best Costume Design, in both instances beating The King's Speech.

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Christopher Nolan's blockbuster Inception won three Baftas: Best Sound, Best Production Design, and Best Visual Effects. The King's Speech was up for the first two.

J.K. Rowling: 'Harry Potter' movies 'one of the best experiences'

Author J.K. Rowling, whose Harry Potter bestsellers have been transformed into Harry Potter blockbusters – and recipients of a special award at the 2011 Bafta ceremony – admitted:

It is very strange to look back after seven films and remember how wary I was of putting Harry on the big screen. I kept saying no. But being involved with these films has been one of the best experiences of my life.

But the Bafta for best speech line should go to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo producer Søren Stærmose, who confessed:

We all know that Lisbeth Salander is the scariest thing coming out of Sweden since ABBA.


Sources for the Colin Firth, Tom Hooper, David Seidler, J.K. Rowling, and Søren Stærmose Bafta speeches: The Guardian, The Hollywood Reporter, Agence France Presse.

Bafta winners Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, and Colin Firth The King's Speech image: The Weinstein Company.

Natalie Portman Black Swan image: Niko Tavernise / Fox Searchlight.

Colin Firth, J.K. Rowling Noteworthy Bafta Ceremony Speeches © 2004–2018 Alt Film Guide and/or author(s).
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