King’s Speech reigns at Bafta film awards

It was a triumphant night for The King's Speech at the Bafta ceremony in London

Period drama The King’s Speech ruled last night’s British Academy Film Awards, triumphing in seven categories including best film.

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Oscar nominee Colin Firth was crowned best leading actor for his portrayal of the stuttering King George VI, and there were supporting actor and actress awards for his co-stars Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter.

Collecting his second consecutive best actor Bafta following last year’s A Single Man, Colin Firth told the audience at Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House, “I like coming here”.

And his co-star Helena Bonham Carter treated the assembled guests to a charmingly meandering speech, after having said before the event “I am very happy to lose, always, so you don’t have to stand up and make a tit of yourself.”

As expected, Natalie Portman won leading actress for her role as a conflicted ballet dancer in psychological thriller Black Swan, although the “very pregnant” star’s award was collected by director Darren Aronofsky.

Best director went to David Fincher for The Social Network. The film, which dramatises the foundations of Facebook, also garnered an adapted screenplay Bafta for Aaron Sorkin’s script based on Ben Mezerich’s book The Accidental Billionaires.

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Meanwhile, Sir Christopher Lee was awarded this year’s Academy fellowship, JK Rowling collected the award for outstanding contribution to British cinema on behalf of the Harry Potter films and Chris Morris was given the Bafta for the outstanding debut by a British writer director or producer for his satirical jihad comedy Four Lions.