The King’s Speech reigns supreme at 83rd Academy Awards

Feel-good period piece The King’s Speech was crowned Best Picture at the 83rd Academy Awards in Los Angeles today. The James Franco/Anne Hathaway hosted ceremony proved to be one of the least surprising Oscars in recent memory, and the telecast even earned the distinction from Roger Ebert of being one of the worst in history.

The King’s Speech picked up four prizes in all, including Best Film, Best Director (Tom Hooper), Best Actor (Colin Firth) and Best Original Screenplay (David Seidler). Having previously dominated the PGA, SAG and DGA guild awards, it’s victory was hardly a surprise.

It was kept at bay from a 12-award sweep by The Social Network (which took home Best Film Editing, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Score) and Inception (which dominated the technical categories, Best Cinematogaphy, Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing).

Natalie Portman was named Best Actress for her performance in Black Swan (the film’s only award for the night), while The Fighter’s duo of supporting performers – Melissa Leo and Christian Bale – were similarly recognised in their respective catagories.

Toy Story 3 was named Best Animated Feature (and also picked up Best Original Song), In A Better World nabbed Best Foreign Language Film, and Inside Job grabbed the statuette for Best Documentary.

Even critically derided films scored some recognition. Alice in Wonderland took home Oscars for Costume Design and Art Direction, while the oft-lambasted The Wolfman won Best Makeup.

Although Aussies Jacki Weaver, Nicole Kidman and Geoffrey Rush missed out on Oscars in their acting categories, local boys Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruheman won Best Short Film, Animated, for The Lost Thing. That’s not all: Emile Sherman – co-producer of The King’s Speech – shared in its Best Picture Oscar, Kirk Baxter, one half of The Social Network’s editing team – picked up a prize, and Dave Elsey was recognised for Best Makeup alongside legend Rick Baker.

Although attractive young’uns Hathaway and Franco were hired to appeal to a younger demographic, the ceremony featured numerous tributes to ceremonies past. Former host Billy Crystal even arrived on stage half-way through the ceremony, only to throw to a hologram of Bob Hope moments later.

Franco and Hathaway’s performance recevied mixed reviews. Oddest of all, Franco was absent for the majority of the show, leaving Hathway on stage to sing and entertain all on her lonesome.

Roger Ebert called it the “worst Oscarcast [he] ever endured”. That – much like The King’s Speech itself – speaks volumes.

Check out the whole list of winners here!

Discuss: What were your thoughts on this year’s Oscar ceremony?

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