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BAFTA Crowns ‘The King's Speech’

Colin Firth, Natalie Portman win for acting; “Social Network” lands Best Director award

"The King's Speech" enjoyed a royal homecoming on Sunday night at the Orange British Academy Film Awards, where Tom Hooper's Oscar favorite took home seven awards, including Best Film.

There were few surprises in store at Covent Garden's Royal Opera House, as the homegrown drama about Britain's King George VI went into the show even more of a favorite than it has become at the Oscars. Voters from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) also named "The King's Speech" Outstanding British Film, saluted its music and its original screenplay, honored Colin Firth for his lead performance and also gave the film a sweep of the supporting actor and actress categories with victories for Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter.  

Helena Bonham Carter"The Social Network," the critical favorite considered the chief Oscar rival to "The King's Speech," won the Best Director award for David Fincher, as well as winning for its editing and Aaron Sorkin's adapted screenplay.

Natalie Portman was honored in the Leading Actress category for "Black Swan."

Of the seven awards won by "The King's Speech," the most unusual was its Outstanding British Film honor. That award, which is voted by a small jury, invariably goes to a movie that does not win the Best Film award.

Since 1993, when the award for a British film was reinstated, BAFTA's Best Film award has gone to nine different British films, including "Slumdog Millionaire," "Atonement," "The Queen," "Shakespeare in Love" and "Sense and Sensibility." None were also named Outstanding British Film, an award that has always gone to a smaller film.

Prior to 1968, BAFTA handed out an award for Best British Film and another for Best Film From Any Source; during those years, eight films — including "The Bridge on the River Kwai," "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Dr. Strangelove" — won both awards.

In the Film Not in the English Language category, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" beat "Biutiful," "Of Gods and Men," "I Am Love" and the Oscar-winner "The Secret in Their Eyes."

"Toy Story 3" won in the Animated Feature category, while the comedy "Four Lions" was named Outstanding British Debut. Roger Deakins was honored for his cinematography for "True Grit."

The Orange Rising Star Award, which unlike the rest of the awards is voted by the public, went to actor Tom Hardy.

In the night's earliest awards, many of the below-the-line honors were split by "Inception" (which won for sound, production design, visual effects) and Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" (costumes, makeup and hair).

"The King's Speech" went into the show leading all films with 14 nominations, two more than "Black Swan" and eight more than "The Social Network." Prior to the BAFTAs, it had surged to the front of the Oscar race by winning Producers Guild, Directors Guild and Screen Actors Guild Awards in the United States.

The awards were hosted by Jonathan Ross. The Orange British Academy Film Awards (Orange being the sponsor) are handed out annually by BAFTA.

The winners:

Best Film: "The King's Speech"
Outstanding British Film: "The King's Speech"
Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer: "Four Lions"
Director: David Fincher, "The Social Network"
Original Screenplay: David Seidler, "The King's Speech"
Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, "The Social Network"
Film Not in the English Language: "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
Animated Film: "Toy Story 3"
Leading Actor: Colin Firth, "The King's Speech"
Leading Actress: Natalie Portman, "Black Swan"
Supporting Actor: Geoffrey Rush, "The King's Speech"
Supporting Actress: Helena Bonham Carter, "The King's Speech"
Original Music: Alexandre Desplat, "The King's Speech"
Cinematography: Roger Deakins, "True Grit"
Editing: "The Social Network"
Production Design: "Inception"
Costume Design: "Alice in Wonderland"
Sound: "Inception"
Special Visual Effects: "Inception"
Make Up & Hair: "Alice in Wonderland"
Short Animation: "The Eagleman Stag"
Short Film: "Until the River Runs Red"
Rising Star Award: Tom Hardy

Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema: The Harry Potter Series
Academy Fellowship: Christopher Lee