British Glory at The Oscars

The Oscars 2011 was a night of stunning triumph for British film as The King’s Speech picked up 4 awards. The film was the toast of Hollywood as it walked away with the highly prized awards of Best actor, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and the blue riband category of Best Picture. The relatively low-budget, independent movie had led the nominations with 12. True Grit with 10 nominations was the big loser on the night as it ended up trophy-free. Colin Firth (Best Actor) gave a humble, understated and very British acceptance speech. He opened with, “I’ve a feeling my career’s just peaked”.   “I’m afraid I have to warn you, that I’m experiencing stirrings somewhere in the upper abdominals, which are threatening to form themselves into dance moves, which joyous as they may be for me would be extremely problematic if they make it to my legs before I get off stage”, he joked. The King’s Speech, which tells the story of a King of England, who suffered from a stammer was written by David Seidler. The project has been a labour of love for Seidler, as he was himself a childhood stutterer. He wrote to The Queen Mother 25 years ago to ask permission to be able to write a play about the true story of her husband, King George VI. The Queen Mother gave her permission, but asked him to wait until after her death. Seidler dedicated his Oscar for Best Screenplay to “all the stutterers around the world. We have a voice. We have been heard”. In the film’s dialogue, the King is heard to swear and Seidler thanked “Her Majesty, The Queen for not putting me in the Tower (of London) for using the F word.” The ‘F word’ was the quirky story of the night, as a nervous Melissa Leo (Best Supporting Actress for The Fighter) inadvertently let slip the swear word in her acceptance speech: “I was watching 2 years ago and Kate Winslett made this look so f**king easy”. Christian Bale (Best Supporting Actor for The Fighter) added to the fun, saying: “I’m not going to drop the F-bomb like she did. I’ve done that plenty before”, in a reference to his infamous swearing tirade from the set of Terminator Salvation, which became a YouTube viral hit. The always present ‘Oscar tears’ came understandably from the heavily pregnant, Natalie Portman, who won Best Actress for her lead role in Black Swan. There was more British success as Inception picked up 4 gongs in technical categories for mainly British technicians. The film was also written, produced and directed by Christopher Nolan; yet another Brit, of course!


To be the toast of sth
a term applied to someone/something which is to be honoured because of success
blue riband
the most prestiguous event/award
showing a modest or low estimate of your own importance
movement coming from strong emotions
the muscles around the stomach
to speak with involuntary and undesirable pauses and to quickly repeat the first letters of words….a speech impediment
a labour of love
a piece of work (usually taking a very long time) done by someone just for the pleasure of the work, without really expecting any financial reward at the end of the project
a person who stammers
the F word
used to refer to the taboo, swear word “Fuck”
another word for accidentaly
let slip
(idiom) to say something accidentally that you did not intend to say
well known for something bad
a long, angry speech
slang for an award

This article was corrected on 1.3.2011. ‘The Social Network’ was replaced with ‘True Grit’

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