King’s Speech wins big at Bafta film awards

British drama The King’s Speech has swept the board at this year’s Bafta Film Awards, picking up seven prizes including Best Actor for Colin Firth.

The actor – who is hotly tipped to win in the same category at the Oscars in two weeks time – picked up the award for his portrayal of King George VI and his struggle to overcome his stutter after he unexpectedly becomes British monarch.

The film also won Best Supporting Actor for Geoffrey Rush, who plays the king’s speech therapist, while Helena Bonham Carter picked up the Best Supporting Actress prize for her role as Queen Elizabeth, the future Queen Mother.

In addition it took the top prize of Best Film, as well as Outstanding British Film, Best Original Screenplay and Best Original Music.

However the film lost out in the Best Director category, which was won by David Fincher for Facebook film The Social Network.

And Natalie Portman won the one remaining acting category – Best Actress – for her role in Black Swan, although the heavily pregnant star was unable to attend the ceremony to pick up her prize.

It is the second year running that Colin Firth has won the Best Actor Bafta after he took top honours in 2010 for his role in A Single Man.

“I like coming here, thank you Bafta,” he joked as he took to the stage to pick up his award.

Helena Bonham Carter said in her speech, “I’m so used to losing, it’s quite a strange feeling to win,” and also thanked the Royal Family “because they’ve done wonders for my career”.

Other winners on the night included Toy Story 3, which picked up the award for Best Animated Film, Chris Morris’ film Four Lions which won the prize for Outstanding Debut Feature, and the sci-fi hit Inception, which won three of the main technical awards including Best Visual Effects.

Veteran actor Christopher Lee was awarded the Bafta Fellowship while the Harry Potter films received an award for their outstanding contribution to British cinema.

The ceremony, at London’s Royal Opera House, was once again hosted by Jonathan Ross.

The ceremony is one of the main fore-runners of the Academy Awards and often gives a good indication of who will be bringing home an Oscar on the big night.

This year’s Oscars take place on February 27.

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