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February 28, 2011

"King's Speech," Natalie Portman and Colin Firth Win Big at Oscars

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  Kings speech

 © 2010 The Weinstein Company

Well The King's Speech got a standing ovation at last night's Academy Awards.  It dominated all the big awards including Best Picture,  Best Actor: Colin Firth, Best Director: Tom Hooper and Best Original Screenplay:  David Seidler.

Natalie Portman took home Best Actress for her role as a disturbed ballerina in Black Swan.  Christian Bale won Best Supporting Actor for his role as a down and out trainer in The Fighter.  And the first acting award of the night went to Melissa Leo for her portrayal of Bale's tough talking Momma in The Fighter.

Black swan

Hosts Franco and Hathaway

When it came to the TV show, the big question was how would Anne Hathaway and James Franco do as hosts?   Well, let's put it this way, they were capable enough that no one will blacklist them from working in Hollywood again.  In fact, Hathaway probably gained quite a few more fans because she showed off her versatility, her humor, her willingness to laugh at herself and that she can look absolutely stunning in an array of haute couture. 

However, there's no reason for the Academy to ever ask her to do it again. 

As for James Franco--he came off looking better than he would have if Anne weren't there.  Of course he was playing her straight man but there were times when he was so straight, he was deadly boring.  Pretty in a suit--but deadly boring.

The two did their best work in the scripted, pre-taped stuff which for once was very funny.  Here's a clip of the opening:

And though the show was short on upsets when it came to the awards, it did have a few surprising moments:

  • When Melissa Leo dropped the "F" bomb during her acceptance speech and seemed to shock herself more than anyone else.
  • Kirk Douglas presenting Best Supporting Actress.  Kirk is still having a lot of trouble speaking since his stroke so it took Leo a moment to register that he'd actually said her name instead of someone else's when he announced the winner.
  • Billy Crystal came out to remind us why he should be given the job of hosting the Oscars permanently.  Yeah, yeah, I know--he says he doesn't want to do it because it's too exhausting.  Tough!  We don't care what you want Billy, we want our Billy Crystal at the Oscars!
  • How classy and tasteful the Parade of Dead People was this year. 
  • In fact how wonderful all the montages were.  From the opening Alec Baldwin schtick to the Best Picture montage at the end, it seems the producers finally hired a real editor to cut them.
  • How wonderful to have Halle Berry do a salute to Lena Horne and then see Horne sing the last few lines of "Stormy Weather."
  • How choked up Christian Bale got when he was thanking his wife.
  • How choked up Colin Firth got when it registered that he was finally holding an Oscar instead of a Golden Globe.
  • How many actresses wore red.  I love red, so that was fine with me.
  • How the only people not dressed up for the occasion were the kids from PS 22 in New York who sang "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" at the end of the show.  Why didn't the producers dress them in formal wear instead of those t-shirts?  There was nothing wrong with how the kids looked it's just that with everyone else so dressed up, it detracted from their marvelous singing.

Best Quotes of the Night

  • Melissa Leo:  “It’s ‘bout selling motion pictures and respecting the work!”
  • David Seidler:  “My father always said to me, I would be a late bloomer.  I believe I am the oldest person to win this particular award.  I hope that record is broken quickly and often.”
  • Christian Bale:  "Melissa...I'm not gonna drop the "F" bomb like she did. I've done that plenty before."
  • Luke Matheny winner for Best Live Action Short, God of Love, and sporting a mega-70s era 'fro:   “I should have gotten a haircut!”  Yes you should have, Luke.  
  • Tom Hooper:  "Thank you to my wonderful actors.  The triangle of man-love which is Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and me.”
  • Natalie Portman, thanking her parents for:  “Showing me how to be a good human being by example.” Take that Dina Lohan.
  • Colin Firth:  "I have a feeling my career has just peaked."  Let's hope not, Colin.

Best Dresses:

  • Hailee Steinfeld:  Lucious and adorable.
  • Halle Berry:  She never, ever gets it wrong.
  • Helen Mirren:  Hot and classy.
  • Jennifer Hudson:  Tangerine dream with just a little too much cleavage.
  • Anne Hathaway in the Grecian white number:  Youthful and old world at the same time.

Major Winners

Best Picture: 

The King's Speech 

Producers: Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin

Best Actor:

Colin Firth The King's Speech

Best Actress: 

Natalie Portman, Black Swan

Best Director: 

Tom Hooper, The King's Speech

Best Adapted Screenplay:

Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network

Best Original Screenplay:

David Seidler, The King's Speech 

Best Animated Feature:

Toy Story 3

You can see a complete list of winners on the Academy Awards website.

So that's my wrap-up.  What did you think?

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