'The King's Speech' Nearly Sweeps the BAFTAs (Updated)
'Black Swan's' Natalie Portman is named best actress while Colin Firth takes best actor for 'Speech,' which also wins in five more categories, including best film.
UPDATE: Soren Stoermose is the producer of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, not director as previously noted. The story has been updated with the correction.
LONDON -- Colin Firth was crowned King of the BAFTAs Sunday night as The King's Speech swept the board at the Orange British Academy Awards, winning best supporting actress for Helena Bonham Carter and best supporting actor for Geoffrey Rush, as well as outstanding British film, original screenplay, best actor for Firth and best film.
Firth won an ovation when he collected his second best actor BAFTA in as many years after winning last year for A Single Man.
"The day I first sat down with (director) Tom Hooper I had to postpone a routine but not very edifying medical appointment," he told the audience at the Royal Opera House. "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."
The Social Network won the best director award for David Fincher, as well as taking the adapted screenplay and editing awards.
Natalie Portman took the best actress award, which was accepted by Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky.
Christopher Nolan's Inception took home the best special visual effects, sound and production design awards.
True Grit was handed the cinematography award, and Toy Story 3 took the animated film award.
Accepting the outstanding British film award, King's Speech director Hooper said "It is thrilling to win this award in this room with so many colleagues. 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.
"This is terrifying," said Seidler, collecting the original screenplay BAFTA. "It's amazing that this little film -- and it is a little film -- it's just two men in a room, but it seems to have touched the world. Let me tell you that for a stutterer, a stammerer, to be heard is a wonderful thing."
Best supporting actress Helena Bonham Carter gave one of the best received -– and lengthiest speeches. "I'm probably not going to get this again, so I'm just going to go for it," she told the laughing audience.
"I'm so used to losing that it feels slightly strange to win. It feels very nice actually -- but children, if you're listening, it's not about the winning. I want to thank the Royal family because they have played quite a big part in my career."
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo earned the best foreign language film. Producer Soren Stoermose dedicated the award to writer Stieg Larsson and actress Noomi Rapace.
"Lisbeth Salander is the scariest person coming out of Sweden since ABBA. Noomi Rapace, I'm dedicating this to you, we couldn't have done this without you and no-one else could have done it."
Veteran actor Christopher Lee was handed a BAFTA fellowship in a tribute led by director Tim Burton.
Host Jonathan Ross played a less controversial role than fellow Brit Ricky Gervais when he recently presented the Golden Globes, leaping in helpfully to prevent Rosamund Pike from revealing the winner of the original screenplay before the nominations had been announced. "That's the fastest I've moved in years," he quipped.
Earlier he provoked laughter by telling the audience: "You're all safe, the doors are closed and Ricky Gervais cannot get into the building."
And announcing 127 Hoursas a contender in the best film award, he said "what young actor wouldn't give his right arm for that role?"
But the biggest laugh of the night was given to Paul McCartney, handing out the original music award.
"It is a big deal when you find out someone is using your music in a movie. In fact, wherever I find out someone is using my music I ring up the director to tell them how much I am suing them for."
The full list of winners appears on the next page.