‘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, 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 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.
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.
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.
London Film Critics’ Circle Awards: Best Actor Colin Firth, but Best British Actor Christian Bale?
Of late, David Fincher’s The Social Network has been lagging behind Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech in the U.S., where American guilds have selected the British period drama as their top choice of 2010. But in Britain, the London Film Critics’ Circle has gone for Fincher’s American drama, handing it four awards: Best Film, Best Director, Best British Supporting Actor (Los Angeles-born Andrew Garfield), and Best Screenplay (Aaron Sorkin). (See further below the full list of London Film Critics Circle winners and nominees.)
The King’s Speech, for its part, won three London Film Critics prizes: Best British Film, Best British Director, and Best Actor for Colin Firth. Bizarrely, Firth lost in the Best British Actor category to Christian Bale for his performance as a junkie ex-boxer in David O. Russell’s The Fighter.
Now, since the London Film Critics found Christian Bale’s performance better than Colin Firth’s, how come he wasn’t – at the very least – nominated for “overall” Best Actor as well?
Never mind. Just a rhetorical question.
Annette Bening Best Actress, Lesley Manville Best British Actress
The London Film Critics’ Circle’s Best Actress was Annette Bening, who plays the (needless to say, lesbian) wife of Julianne Moore and mother of Josh Hutcherson and Mia Wasikowska in Lisa Cholodenko’s The Kids Are All Right.
Lesley Manville was the Best British Actress for her lonely secretary in Mike Leigh’s Another Year.
More London Film Critics’ Circle winners
The Best British Supporting Actress was Olivia Williams as former U.K. prime minister Pierce Brosnan’s wife – a role inspired by Tony Blair’s wife Cherie Blair – in Roman Polanski’s thriller The Ghost Writer, starring Ewan McGregor.
And finally, Neds actor Conor McCarron was the Young British Performer of the Year, while Gareth Hughes won the Breakthrough British Filmmaker Award for Monsters.
London Film Critics’ Circle winners & nominations
FILM OF THE YEAR
Black Swan (Fox).
The Kids Are All Right (Universal).
The King’s Speech (Momentum).
* The Social Network (Sony).
Toy Story 3 (Disney).
THE ATTENBOROUGH AWARD: BRITISH FILM OF THE YEAR
127 Hours (Warner / Pathe).
The Arbor (Verve).
Another Year (Momentum).
* The King’s Speech (Momentum).
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR
I Am Love (Metrodome).
* Of Gods and Men (Artificial Eye).
The Secret in Their Eyes (Metrodome).
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (New Wave).
DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
Darren Aronofsky - Black Swan (Fox).
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen - True Grit (Paramount).
* David Fincher - The Social Network (Sony).
Christopher Nolan - Inception (Warner).
Apichatpong Weerasethakul - Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (New Wave).
BRITISH DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
Clio Barnard - The Arbor (Verve).
Danny Boyle - 127 Hours (Warner / Pathe).
* Tom Hooper - The King’s Speech (Momentum).
Mike Leigh - Another Year (Momentum).
Christopher Nolan - Inception (Warner).
ACTOR OF THE YEAR
Jeff Bridges - True Grit (Paramount).
Jesse Eisenberg - The Social Network (Sony).
* Colin Firth - The King’s Speech (Momentum).
Ryan Gosling - Blue Valentine (Optimum).
Edgar Ramírez - Carlos (Optimum).
ACTRESS OF THE YEAR
* Annette Bening - The Kids Are All Right (Universal).
Jennifer Lawrence - Winter’s Bone (Artificial Eye).
Natalie Portman - Black Swan (Fox).
Noomi Rapace - The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Momentum).
Hailee Steinfeld - True Grit (Paramount).
BRITISH ACTOR OF THE YEAR
Riz Ahmed - Four Lions (Optimum).
* Christian Bale - The Fighter (Paramount / Momentum).
Jim Broadbent - Another Year (Momentum).
Colin Firth - The King’s Speech (Momentum).
Andrew Garfield - Never Let Me Go (Fox).
BRITISH ACTRESS OF THE YEAR
Helena Bonham Carter - The King’s Speech (Momentum).
* Lesley Manville - Another Year (Momentum).
Rosamund Pike - Barney’s Version (Universal).
Ruth Sheen - Another Year (Momentum).
Tilda Swinton - I Am Love (Metrodome).
BRITISH ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
David Bradley - Another Year (Momentum).
Pierce Brosnan - The Ghost Writer (Optimum).
* Andrew Garfield - The Social Network (Sony).
Tom Hardy - Inception (Warner).
Peter Wight - Another Year (Momentum).
BRITISH ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Helena Bonham Carter - Alice in Wonderland (Disney).
Christine Bottomley - The Arbor (Verve).
Minnie Driver - Barney’s Version (Universal).
Rosamund Pike - Made in Dagenham (Paramount).
* Olivia Williams - The Ghost Writer (Optimum).
YOUNG BRITISH PERFORMER OF THE YEAR
Jessica Barden - Tamara Drewe (Momentum).
* Conor McCarron - Neds (Entertainment One).
Will Poulter - The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Fox).
Saoirse Ronan - The Way Back (Entertainment One).
Thomas Turgoose - The Scouting Book for Boys (Pathe).
SCREENWRITER OF THE YEAR
Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg - The Kids Are All Right (Universal).
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen - True Grit (Paramount).
Chris Morris, Sam Bain, Simon Blackwell & Jesse Armstrong - Four Lions (Optimum).
David Seidler - The King’s Speech (Momentum).
* Aaron Sorkin - The Social Network (Sony).
BREAKTHROUGH BRITISH FILMMAKER
Banksy - Exit Through the Gift Shop (Revolver).
Clio Barnard - The Arbor (Verve).
J Blakeson - The Disappearance of Alice Creed (CinemaNX).
* Gareth Edwards - Monsters (Vertigo).
Chris Morris - Four Lions (Optimum).
London Film Critics’ Circle website.
Colin Firth The King’s Speech image: The Weinstein Company.
Olivia Williams The Ghost Writer image: Summit Entertainment.
Andrew Garfield, Kristin Scott Thomas among surprising ‘London Evening Standard’ Award winners
If you’re in search of surprises this awards season, look no further than the 2011 London Evening Standard Awards’ roster of British cinema winners, which were announced this past Monday, Feb. 7. (See further below the full list of 2011 London Evening Standard Award winners and nominees.)
For instance, the London Evening Standard Award for Best Film? Instead of Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech or even Mike Leigh’s Another Year, the selected title was Peter Mullan’s Neds, a social drama about violent urban youth in 1970s Glasgow that had already taken home the Best Film prize at last year’s San Sebastian Film Festival. But there’s more.
The Los Angeles-born but British-raised Andrew Garfield was chosen Best Actor for his performances in Mark Romanek’s Never Let Me Go, co-starring Keira Knightley and Carey Mulligan, and David Fincher’s U.S.-made The Social Network, toplining Jesse Eisenberg. The list of nominees, by the way, included none other than Oscar favorite Colin Firth for The King’s Speech.
The London Evening Standard Awards’ Best Actress was Kristin Scott Thomas for her adulterous wife having a hot and heavy affair with a builder (Sergi López) in Catherine Corsini’s French drama Leaving. This was Scott Thomas’ first win this awards season.
The Best Screenplay Award went to Clio Barnard for the unusual (sort of) documentary The Arbor, about the late playwright Andrea Dunbar’s life in a housing estate in Bradford.*
Multitasking Gareth Edwards wins technical prize
Roger Allam won the Peter Sellers Comedy Award for his cheating writer in Stephen Frears’ Tamara Drewe, while jack-of-all-trades filmmaker Gareth Edwards earned the London Film Museum Technical Achievement Award for his cinematography, production design, and visual effects on the low-budget sci-fi thriller Monsters.
Down Terrace co-writer and director Ben Wheatley was named the Most Promising Newcomer.
The London Evening Standard Award Award for Best Documentary went to A Day in the Life, described as a series of “simple, strikingly shot black-and-white shorts made by the film-maker John Krish in the Fifties and early Sixties but released together for the first time in December of last year. These documentaries were sponsored by children’s charities, unions and even British Transport. Yet the end products, far from being anonymous ‘ads,’ are calmly off-beat odes – dreamy, jolting paeans to the innocent and neglected.”
Christopher Nolan gets Special Award
Christopher Nolan of Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and Inception fame, received the Alexander Walker Special Award for his contribution to cinema.
Regarding their unusual choice for Best Picture, film critic Derek Malcolm, one of the London Evening Standard Awards’ six judges explained: “Despite our admiration for The King’s Speech, the jury felt that Peter Mullan’s Neds deserved our prize this year. An original drama of great skill, power and human sympathy, the film reflects directly on the present as well as the past in which it is set.”
* The Arbor was up for a London Evening Standard Award in the Best Film – not Best Documentary – category.
2011 London Evening Standard Award winners and nominees
Another Year (director Mike Leigh).
The Arbor (director Clio Barnard).
The Illusionist (director Sylvain Chomet).
Kick-Ass (director Matthew Vaughn).
The King’s Speech (director Tom Hooper).
* Neds (director Peter Mullan).
Never Let Me Go (director Mark Romanek).
Riz Ahmed (Four Lions).
Jim Broadbent (Another Year).
Colin Firth (The King’s Speech).
* Andrew Garfield (The Social Network, Never Let Me Go).
Eddie Marsan (The Disappearance of Alice Creed).
Ewan McGregor (The Ghost Writer).
Sam Riley (Brighton Rock).
Brenda Blethyn (London River).
Rebecca Hall (Please Give).
Sally Hawkins (Made in Dagenham).
Keira Knightley (Never Let Me Go).
Carey Mulligan (Never Let Me Go).
* Kristin Scott Thomas (Leaving).
Ruth Sheen (Another Year).
Tilda Swinton (I Am Love).
Olivia Williams (The Ghost Writer).
Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy (127 Hours).
Ben Wheatley and Robin Hill (Down Terrace).
Robert Harris (The Ghost Writer).
Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass).
* Clio Barnard (The Arbor).
Alex Garland (Never Let Me Go).
LONDON FILM MUSEUM TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
* Gareth Edwards for his cinematography, production design, and visual effects on Monsters.
Jenny Beavan for her costume design for The King’s Speech.
Dick Pope for his cinematography on Another Year.
Andrew McAlpine for his production design for Made in Dagenham.
Dickon Hinchliffe for his score for Winter’s Bone.
Mark Tildesley for his production design for The Killer Inside Me.
PETER SELLERS AWARD FOR COMEDY
* Roger Allam for Tamara Drewe.
Omid Djalili for The Infidel.
Ed Gaughan for Skeletons.
Robin Hill for Down Terrace.
David Thewlis for London Boulevard.
MOST PROMISING NEWCOMER
J Blakeson writer/director of The Disappearance of Alice Creed.
Tuppence Middleton (for her performances in Skeletons and Chatroom).
Nick Whitfield, director of Skeletons.
* Ben Wheatley, co-writer and director of Down Terrace.
Conor McCarron for his performance in Neds.
* A Day in the Life by John Krish.
Oil City Confidential by Julien Temple.
Enemies of the People by Thet Sambat and Rob Lemkin.
Exit Through the Gift Shop by Banksy.
Land of the Free by Vadim Jean.
No Greater Love by Michael Whyte.
A Day in the Life description and list of London Evening Standard Award nominees via thisislondon.com.
Derek Malcolm quote via The Hollywood Reporter.
Image of London Evening Standard Award Best Actor winner Andrew Garfield in Never Let Me Go: Alex Bailey / Fox Searchlight.
Neds movie image: Film4 / Wild Bunch.
‘Inception’ cinematographer Wally Pfister, Julia Roberts take home American Society of Cinematographers Awards
Inception cinematographer Wally Pfister – not, as many had been expecting, True Grit lenser Roger Deakins – was the feature film winner at the 2011 American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Awards held on Sunday night (Feb. 13) at the Hollywood & Highland Grand Ballroom in Los Angeles.
“Presenter Diane Lane was def. surprised by Pfister’s ASC win,” tweeted TheWrap’s Steve Pond. “I think she figured there was a reason ([husband] Josh Brolin/True Grit) they chose her.”
Roger Deakins: ASC Lifetime Achievement Award recipient
Roger Deakins had won a BAFTA earlier in the day (evening in London), and shortly before Wally Pfister was announced as the year’s ASC Award winner Deakins had been handed the Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Among the veteran cinematographer’s credits are:
- Bob Rafelson’s Mountains of the Moon (1990).
- Michael Apted’s Thunderheart (1992).
- Tim Robbins’ Dead Man Walking (1995).
- Joel and Ethan Coen’s Fargo (1996).
- Ron Howard’s A Beautiful Mind (2001).
- Joel and Ethan Coen’s No Country for Old Men (2007).
It’s unclear whether Deakins will repeat his BAFTA feat or if Pfister will repeat his ASC feat at the Academy Awards.
Roger Deakins has been nominated for nine Oscars (including True Grit); he has never taken home a statuette. Deakins has fared better at the ASC Awards, having won two of these:
- Frank Darabont’s The Shawshank Redemption (1994).
- Joel and Ethan Coen’s The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001).
Inception is Wally Pfister’s fourth Oscar nod.
More ASC Awards
Besides Inception‘s Wally Pfister and True Grit‘s Roger Deakins, this year’s ASC Award nominees in the feature film category were:
- Matthew Libatique for Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan.
- Danny Cohen for Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech.
- Jeff Cronenweth for David Fincher’s The Social Network.
Among the evening’s other ASC Award winners were:
- Stephen Windon for the television miniseries The Pacific.
- International Award recipient John Seale.
- Presidents Award recipient Douglas Kirkland.
- Board of Governors Award recipient Julia Roberts.
More on Julia Roberts’ ASC Award below.
Julia Roberts: ASC Board of Governors Award recipient
At the 2011 American Society of Cinematographers Awards ceremony, Best Actress Academy Award winner Julia Roberts (Erin Brockovich) was handed the ASC Board of Governors Award, given “to individuals who have made extraordinary achievements to advancing [sic] the art and craft of filmmaking.”
Previous Board of Governors Award recipients include:
ASC Awards committee chair Richard Crudo was quoted as saying that Julia Roberts was a good choice because “cinematographers and actors have a special rapport that begins with a mutual trust. Julia brings something extra to that relationship and further elevates what we do with her beauty and grace. She’s a gift to every cinematographer she works with.”
As TheWrap‘s Steve Pond remarked, after receiving the award from Tom Hanks – who made some crack about Roberts being 25 or whereabouts – the forty-something star of Eat Pray Love “reprised a joke she made at the Oscars in 2003 when she paid tribute to cinematographers ‘because I know what I look like at 5:30 in the morning.'”
And that’s how the “art and craft of filmmaking” is advanced.
American Society of Cinematographers website.
Julia Roberts Eat Pray Love movie image: François Duhamel / Columbia Pictures.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt Inception movie image: Warner Bros.