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Oscar Watch: The King’s Speech’s Helena Bonham Carter Could Win Best Supporting Actress

Oscar Watch: The King's Speech's Helena Bonham Carter Could Win Best Supporting Actress

Thompson on Hollywood

The King’s Speech is an Oscar favorite, and depending on how strong it is, the Brit drama could carry some awards on its coattails. While Inception, The Social Network, True Grit and Alice in Wonderland could steal some wins from The King’s Speech in the technical categories, recent BAFTA winner Helena Bonham Carter could score a supporting actress nod–in a wide open field including The Fighter‘s dueling Melissa Leo and Amy Adams, True Grit‘s young newcomer Hailee Steinfeld, and Animal Kingdom‘s 48-year Australian veteran Jacki Weaver–for her high-brow yet low-key performance as the future Queen Mum in The King’s Speech.

The witty Brit broke out in A Room with a View in 1985 (clip below), was nominated for best actress for another literary period piece, The Wings of the Dove in 1998, and starred in three films this year (her partner Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland as well as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1). She came across as the most soft-spoken and sincere participant at THR’s December Actress Roundtable (see our collection of HBC videos, below). Always self-deprecating about her performances and adventurous fashion choices, during Awards season she has maintained the same cool composure and self-assuredness while never for a moment taking herself too seriously.

Bonham Carter was the crowd favorite in the Oscar Nominee Luncheon’s interview room, where she said “Good morning everyone, are you having a nice time?” as she approached the podium, then took her shoes off: “I could do a Black Swan.” She said The King’s Speech is “proving very fruitful and good for my career,” though she didn’t confirm what projects she has under consideration. Was she nervous to play the Queen Mother? “I wanted to play George because I thought that was the best part…then I thought Lionel, that’s the honest truth.” She had three weeks to rehearse. “I didn’t particularly look in the mirror and think, ‘God, I’m a dead ringer for the Queen Mother.’” But to answer the question: “It was daunting.” On what to expect from her Oscar night attire: “It’s probably going to be a catastrophe, but I’m going to go for it.”

THR Actress Roundtable:

BAFTA Best Supporting Actress Acceptance Speech:

The King’s Speech Clip:

The King’s Speech Clip:

Alice in Wonderland Clip:

And here is 19-year-old Bonham Carter in her first film, 1985’s A Room With A View:

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J. Sperling Reich

It has often been noted that giving a good speech at the BAFTAs can transform an Oscar nominee from “they might be an upset win” to actually winning the Academy award. Of course, the reverse is also true, as was proved when Russell Crowe had a tantrum upon having his Best Actor acceptance speech cut when he won for “A Beautiful Mind”. He went from the front runner for the Best Actor Oscar that year, to not winning.

Helena Bonham Carter’s BAFTA acceptance speech was great and precisely the kind that might woo Oscar voters who might want to see it repeated a little closer to home.


Wow what a speech she gave. Not powerful, but so honest and sweet. Also I completely agree with you, this year the supportive categories are wide opened, specially this one. My personal vote now goes to her, because I think she is just fearless.

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