Top honours crown ‘The King’s Speech’ at 83rd Oscars (Roundup)

Monday, February 28, 2011

LOS ANGELES - The royal drama “The King’s Speech” made it big at the 83rd Academy Awards by winning Oscars for best picture, best director, best actor and best screenwriter. Also bagging four gongs was sci-fi thriller “Inception” at a glittering ceremony hosted by first timers Anne Hathaway and James Franco.

“I have a feeling my career has just peaked,” Colin Firth said Sunday night at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood after receiving his first Oscar as best actor for “The King’s Speech”.

Tom Hooper, who got the best director honour, thanked his mother, who was sitting in the audience, for bringing the story of the stuttering King George VI to his attention. “The moral of this story is listen to your mother,” he said.

“The King’s Speech” was leading the Oscar race with 12 nominations. The film made at a budget of just $14 million did overwhelming business of $120 million at the box office.

Audience members, who were “The King’s Speech” supporters, hugged each other after it won the best picture Oscar.

Natalie Portman took the best actress Oscar for her role as a ballerina with a prestigious New York City ballet company who is on the verge of a mental breakdown in “The Black Swan”.

“Thank you. Thank you so much. This is insane!” said the enthusiastic 29-year-old in her teary acceptance speech. “(Director) Darren Aronofsky, you are a visionary. I am so blessed to have gotten to work for you,” she said with gratitude.

The science-fiction thriller “Inception” also had a great night, winning Oscars for sound mixing, sound editing, visual effects and cinematography.

David Fincher’s immensely popular “The Social Network” came close as it was awarded in three categories - best film editing, best music (original score) and best writing (adapted screenplay).

The movie is based on the founding of the social networking website Facebook and the resulting lawsuits, and is inspired from the 2009 non-fiction book “The Accidental Billionaires”.

The Danish drama “In a Better World” won the Oscar for best foreign language film while “Inside Job”, which takes a closer look at what brought about the financial meltdown, won Oscar for the best documentary, features. The golden statuette was given to Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs for the film.

“The Fighter”, based on a real life story, won supporting actor and actress Oscars for Christian Bale and Melissa Leo respectively.

This is the second year that 10 films were competing for the best picture prize. The category was expanded in a bid to provide space to more popular movies.

The glitz and glamour quotient at the 83rd annual Oscars was as high as always - from Scarlett Johansson to Nicole Kidman, Mila Kunis and Warren Beatty walked the red carpet outside the Kodak Theatre to be a part of the three-hour show.

Eager fans waited outside the theatre to get a glimpse of their favourite stars.

The three-and-a-half hour show saw performances, a montage of the 10 best picture nominations and, of course, Franco and Hathaway holding the fort.

Celine Dion entertained everyone when she sang during the In Memoriam part of the ceremony.

Hollywood veteran, 94-year-old Kirk Douglas made a surprise appearance.

Double Oscar winner A.R. Rahman performed his Oscar-nominated song “If I Rise” from Danny Boyle’s “127 Hours”. The Indian composer had originally collaborated with Dido for the song but she could not make it to the ceremony due to her advanced pregnancy. So singer Florence Welch teamed up with the maestro and both gave an overwhelming performance.

It was a night when world cinema, and most of all Hollywood, lived up to its glory - yet again.

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