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'The King's Speech' crowned Best Picture, wins four Oscars

Keywords: The Oscars  
Fri Mar 04 15:26:38 UTC 2011

British drama 'The King's Speech', about George VI's struggle to overcome his stammer, walked away with four major Oscars including the Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor at the 83rd Academy Awards.

On a night, which had no big surprises, the period drama beat out competition from nine other films to be crowned the Best Picture, also won an Oscar for David Seidler in the Best Original Screenplay category.

Directed by Tom Hooper, the Colin Firth starrer is about the British Monarch, who overcame his stuttering problem with the help of an unorthodox Australian speech therapist, to rally the nation through World War II.

Hooper thanked his mother for finding him the script for the movie after she was invited to a play reading.

"She's never been invited to a play reading her entire life before. She almost didn't go because it didn't sound exactly promising, but thank God she did. She rang me up after, said, Tom, I think I found your next film," said the director.

Firth, popularly known as Mr Darcy since his 'Pride & Prejudice' days, started his acceptance speech by joking about how the award will help his career.

"I have a feeling that my career just peaked," the 50-year-old actor said.

Firth said that he feared that he may make a fool of himself by dancing onstage.

"I'm afraid I have to warn you that I'm experiencing stirrings, somewhere in the upper abdominals, what are threatening to form themselves into dance moves," he said.

"These urges joyous as they may be for me... would be extremely problematic if they make it to my legs before I get off stage," he added.

The movie's screenwriter, David Seidler, used his acceptance speech to jokingly thank Queen Elizabeth II, among others, as well as stutterers everywhere.

"I accept this on behalf of all the stutterers throughout the world. We have a voice, we have been heard," he said, repeating the key phrase from the movie.
Nominated in 12 categories, the film was pitted against Facebook movie 'The Social Network', which was in the race with 7 nominations.

The David Fincher movie, however, managed to win trophies in three categories Best Adapted Screenplay, Original Score and Editing.

Christopher Nolan's hi-tech thriller 'Inception' matched 'The King's Speech' in the number count by bagging four Oscars in technical categories like Best Cinematography, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing and Visual Effects.

Natalie Portman won best actress for her role in disturbed ballerina in Darren Aronofsky's dark thriller 'Black Swan'.

An emotional Portman thanked everyone from her family, friends and fiance Bennjamin Milleipied to the make-up and cameraman of her film.

Boxing drama 'The Fighter' won two Oscars-- best supporting actor for Christian Bale, and best supporting actress for Melissa Leo, who had both been frontrunners in their category.

Dressed in a loose purple gown, Portman thanked her co-nominees Annette Bening 'The Kids Are Alright', Nicole Kidman 'Rabit Hole', 'Jennifer Lawrence 'Winter's Bone' and Michelle Williams 'Blue Valentine'.

An emotional star credited her parents for teaching her to be a "good human being" and director Aronofsky for being a "daring leader and visionary" before calling up her fiance from the crowd.

"This award is also for my love Benjamin, who has given me the most beautiful role," the actress, who is soon to become a mother, said.

Portman, who began her acting career at the age of 13, had been frontrunner for her portrayal of an insecure ballet dancer whose drive for perfection pushes her to the edge of madness.

Her performance had already earned her prizes at the Golden Globes and Britain's BAFTAs.

Leo and Bale, who played mother-son in the movie, were the first to win the golden statue for their supporting roles.

Leo took home the Oscar for her turn as a controlling mother in 'The Fighter' while Bale, who went for a dramatic weight loss, won the trophy for his portrayal of a drug-addict former fighter.

It was the first Academy Award for both the actors and Leo, 50, drew laughter from the crowd when she uttered a cuss word during her acceptance speech.

Leo's gong was presented to her by 94-year-old screen legend Kirk Douglas, who made a joke out of the fact that he has never won the coveted golden statue himself.

Leo who won over Helena Bonham Carter (The King's Speech), Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit), Jacki Weaver (Animal King and Amy Adams (The Fighter), told the veteran, "You pinch me."

"I know there's a lot of real lovely people who've said a lot of nice things to me for several months but I'm just shaking in my boots right now," she added.

And when Bale was handed his trophy by 'Legally Blonde' star Reese Witherspoon, he made a special mention of Leo's acceptance speech.

"Melissa you dropped the F-Bomb, I was planning to do that," he said before going onto thank, Dicky Eklund, who he played in the movie, asking the retired fighter to take a bow in the audience.

The 37-year-old then went on to thank his "beautiful wife" and his daughter "who has already taught me a lot more than I could ever give back to her."

Bale was competing with John Hawkes 'Winter's Bone', Jeremy Renner 'The Town', Mark Ruffalo 'The Kids Are All Right' and Geoffrey Rush 'The King's Speech' for the award.

Pixar movie 'Toy Story 3' won best animated feature Oscar as expected.

'In a Better World', a film by Denmark's star director Susanne Bier, beat out competition from Algeria, Canada, Greece and Mexico to win the Best Foreign Film Oscar.

The glittering awards show, which marks the end of frantic award season in Hollywood, was hosted by James Franco and Anne Hathaway, marking the first time that a man and woman presided over the popular awards.

Franco, 32 and Hathaway, 28, are also one of the youngest hosts of the ceremony, which is broadcast live in more than 200 countries.

In other categories fantasy drama 'Alice in Wonderland' won the best Costume Design award and the Makeup to 'The Wolfman'.

Best Documentary Feature award went to Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs for 'Inside Job' and the Best Documentary (short subject) was awarded to 'Strangers No More'.

'The Lost Thing' was the adjudged the best Animated Short Film while 'God of Love' walked away with best Live Action Short Film.

The Academy also presented honorary Oscars to film historian and preservationist Kevin Brownlow, director- producer Francis Ford Coppola, director Jean-Luc Godard and actor Eli Wallach.

India's Oscar hopes dashed, Rahman, Anwar return empty handed

Indian musician A R Rahman's hopes to repeat his 2009 double Oscar glory were dashed as he lost out in both the Best Original Score and Best Song categories at the 83rd Academy Awards in Los Angeles on Monday.

Another contender, NRI editor Tariq Anwar, too failed to bag the Best Film Editing trophy for the British drama 'The King's Speech', which went to Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter of 'The Social Network'.

Rahman, dressed in a black sherwani, performed his nominated track 'If I Rise' from the the Danny Boyle film '127 Hours' with British popstar Florence Welch to much applause.

But the 45-year-old lost the Best Song trophy to Randy Newman who won for his composition 'We Belong Together' from 'Toy Story 3'.

The golden statuette for the Best Original Score went to composer duo Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross who won for their soundtrack in the blockbuster 'The Social Network'.

Two years after he won his first Oscar with the foot-tapping hit 'Jai Ho' from another of Boyle's film 'Slumdog Millionaire', Rahman drew a blank this time.

The musician walked the Oscars red carpet wearing a charcoal grey tuxedo, accompanied by wife Saira, who wore an off white and gold Indo-western ensemble, consisting of a sherwani teamed with cigarette pants and a stole.

The 'Mozart of Madras' missed the golden trophy last year too, after his song 'Na Na' (from 'Couple's Retreat') failed to get a nomination despite being in the long list for the 'Best Song' category.

Earlier this year, Rahman had lost out on a Golden Globe for Best Score to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, but won a Critics Choice award for the "haunting tracks" and "wonderful crescendos" of '127 Hours'.

Rahman had won a BAFTA nomination for the same, but had lost the trophy to Alexandre Desplat, who won for his score in 'The King's Speech'.

Rahman, who was honoured with a Padma Bhushan last year, had also enjoyed a golden run at the 52nd Grammy Awards, where he had again bagged two gramophones for his music in 'Slumdog Millionaire'.

Earlier 'Peepli Live', India's official entry to the Oscars had failed to make it to the final nine films which were nominated in the Best Foreign Film category, which was finally won by Danish film 'In a Better World'.

The glitzy ceremony, hosted by young stars Anne Hathaway and James Franco, was high on musical performances, including an auto-tuned video of film dialogues put to music and a tribute sung by Celine Dion.

The Best Original Score category was presented by Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman who traced the history of music in cinema with a brief video.

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross who won the award, dedicated it to the film's director David Fincher and their wives.

"When we finished work on the film, we were really proud of it. And standing here in front of this audience, we are really humbled. This award is for David Fincher who believed in us," said Reznor, the frontman of the rock band 'Nine Inch Nails'.

Musician Randy Newman, who had been nominated for the Best Song Oscar twenty times, expressed surprise at winning his second golden statuette.
 
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