The King’s Speech picks up seven Bafta awards including leading actor for Colin Firth who says there is “immense excitement” about whether the triumph will be repeated at the forthcoming Oscars.
The King’s Speech – a tale of stuttering monarch King George VI – scooped seven awards at the Orange British Academy Film Awards (Baftas) in London on Sunday.
Speaking as he picked up the Leading Actor award at the Royal Opera House for the second year running, Colin Firth joked: “I like coming here, thank you Bafta.”
Firth has been tipped as favourite to pick up the Best Actor award at the forthcoming Hollywood Oscars ceremony.
Speaking backstage, he joked he had “plenty of shelf space” for the awards he has won for the role as the king, and said he was looking forward to the Oscars.
“There is immense excitement, there is no lack of excitement but it is very hard to talk about something that hasn’t happened,” he said.
Firth paid tribute to his co-stars, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter, who won awards for Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress respectively.
In her acceptance speech, Bonham Carter warned her children “It’s not about the winning” and told Firth: “King Colin you’re deserving everything you’re getting.”
The film also picked up awards for Best Film, Original Music, Outstanding British Film and Original Screenplay for its writer David Seidler.
Seidler, who was born in London but later moved to the United States, said: “This is a nice way to come home.”
The writer, who overcame a speech impediment in his childhood, said: “For a stutterer, for a stammerer, to be heard is a wonderful thing.”
There was disappointment for the film’s director Tom Hooper who lost out to David Fincher for the Facebook film The Social Network.
Tanya Seghatchian, Head of the UK Film Council’s Film Fund, said the film which received funding from the now-defunct organisation was “a great validation for the UK film industry as a whole and an amazing legacy for the UK Film Council”.
Natalie Portman won the Leading Actress award for her role as a ballet dancer in Black Swan. The film’s director, Darren Aronofsky, accepted the award on her behalf, saying: “She is by far the most committed, dedicated, focused actor I have ever worked with.”
The event ended with a standing ovation for veteran actor Sir Christopher Lee.
He accepted the Bafta Fellowship from Tim Burton, who described the 88-year-old as an “electrifying screen presence”.
Sir Christopher, famous for his roles in dozens of horror films and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, thanked his “fellow thespians” and the Bafta committee.
He said: “This is a truly great honour, a great, great honour. Two things really make it so, the fact that this was voted to me by my peers and secondly that I received it from one of the great directors of our age.”
Dead Man’s Shoes star Paddy Considine presented the prize for Short Film to Until The River Runs Red and the Short Animation award to The Eagleman Stag made by Michael Please.
Awards for Sound and Editing went to Inception and The Social Network respectively. True Grit’s young star, Hailee Steinfeld, gave the award for Make Up and Hair to Alice in Wonderland which starred Bonham Carter as The Red Queen.
The film also picked up the award for Costume Design.
The award for Film Not In The English Language went to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo based on Swedish crime writer Stieg Larsson’s best-selling novel.
The award for Production Design went to Inception and Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster also picked up the next award for Special Visual Effects.
The award for Outstanding Debut was presented by Kevin Spacey, who host Jonathan Ross described as “an honorary Englishman”, to Chris Morris for his film, Four Lions, which took a satirical look at homegrown Islamist terrorists.
An award for Outstanding Contribution went to the Harry Potter films.
ORIGINAL MUSIC: Alexandre Desplat for The King’s Speech
SHORT FILM: Until The River Runs Red
SHORT ANIMATION: The Eagleman Stag
EDITING: The Social Network
MAKE UP & HAIR: Alice in Wonderland
FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
COSTUME DESIGN: Colleen Atwood for Alice in Wonderland.
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Inception
SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS: Inception
SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Helena Bonham Carter for The King’s Speech
OUTSTANDING DEBUT: Chris Morris for Four Lions
OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM: The King’s Speech
SUPPORTING ACTOR: Geoffrey Rush in The King’s Speech
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: David Seidler for The King’s Speech
OUTSTANDING BRITISH CONTRIBUTION: The Harry Potter Films
ANIMATED FILM: Toy Story 3
ORANGE WEDNESDAYS RISING STAR: Tom Hardy
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Aaron Sorkin for The Social Network
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Roger Deakins for True Grit
DIRECTOR: David Fincher for The Social Network
LEADING ACTRESS: Natalie Portman for Black Swan
LEADING ACTOR: Colin Firth
BEST FILM: The King’s Speech
FELLOWSHIP: Christopher Lee