Oscar round-up

Posted on March 7, 2011


Last week gave us the 83rd annual Academy Awards and, as promised, I’m here to take a look at the winners and review my predictions.

James Franco and Anne Hathaway hosted the Academy Awards this year in a break from the tradition of a single, comedic host.  This was obviously an attempt to connect with the younger audience. Whilst it wasn’t entirely successful they were certainly entertaining with Franco seeming as though he’d enjoyed a few drinks before hand.

Right now, many film industry insiders are calling this year’s Oscars ceremony a predictable and therefore slightly dull show. With that in mind, it makes my rather less than successful predictions all the more embarrassing.

Anyone who read my pre-Oscar special will know that we predicted wins for The Social Network for Best Film and Best Director, as well as a win for Jeff Bridges and Natalie Portman in the Best Actor and Actress categories.

Of all of those picks I managed to only get one right, the fantastic Natalie Portman taking the Oscar for Best Actress. In my defence, I did pick Jeff Bridges simply because he is The Dude. I don’t think I truly expected him to win.

However, whilst we didn’t pick the winners of the Best Film and Best Director, we don’t think that many people could have predicted Tom Hooper’s surprising win. Up against such heavyweights as David Fincher, Darren Aronofsky and the Cohen brothers, Hooper really was an outside bet. However, it was a deserving win for a truly terrific film.

In fact, it really was the night for The King’s Speech, the film picking up Best Film, Best Director and Best Actor – a huge achievement for a low-budget British film.

In fact, The King’s Speech was made for a reputed £10m, which is a very small sum for a feature film. £1m of that came from UK lottery funding – a source of film financing that is sadly no longer available as the British coalition government has decided to cut it. Hopefully, the success of The King’s Speech will make them realise that the British film industry is as viable and as vibrant as ever, and that government funding is necessary for its survival.

What it also should do is make Hollywood sit up and take note. A film doesn’t have to have a budget running into the hundreds of millions, be a remake or a sequel or a franchise in order for it to be successful.

Other winners included Christian Bale for Best Supporting Actor, sporting a beard that was in strong colour contrast to the hair on his head. Melissa Leo picked up the statue for Best Supporting Actress for her work in The Fighter.

Acceptance speeches are always a big part of the Oscars, and there have been some memorable ones over the years. This year the speeches were relatively low-key in comparison, with Colin Firth predicting in self-deprecating fashion that his career had peaked. A glowing, pregnant Natalie Portman gave a tearful and emotional speech thanking her parents and her fiancée, Benjamin Millepied. However, it was left to the Best Supporting actors to make the memorable speeches, with Melissa Leo dropping the F-bomb and Christian Bale forgetting his wife’s name.

So, that’s about it for this year. For those of you that missed the ceremony, I hope you enjoyed my round-up and I look forward to doing it all again next time.