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Winners Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter Backstage at the Baftas

Winners Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter Backstage at the Baftas

This year’s Bafta show began in a way it usually doesn’t, with a hideous dance number, cringe-worthy and Oscar-ready. There were breakdancers in baseball caps lifting ballerinas in tutus – I won’t punish you with more details. Fortunately, that was the end of the fake entertaiment, and The King’s Speech continued its march toward world domination.

I have to say it’s a pretty charming march.

The winners were wittily well-prepared, in their acceptance speeches and backstage interviews after. Accepting her Best Supporting Actress award, Helen Bonham Carter referred to her earlier role as the giant-headed Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland and said: “I seem to be playing queens with ever-decreasing head sizes. Next year will be pin-headed queen.”

Here’s a link to the video of Bonham Carter backstage, joking with presenter James McAvoy about whose name was really in the envelope. (Sorry, the Bafta site won’t let me embed it directly here.)

Colin Firth manages to come up with a fresh, down-to-earth acceptance for every new award; it seems the least an actor can do, but I don’t have to tell you how many of them just recycle. Here’s a video link to a bit of Firth’s Best Actor acceptance and backstage comments.

If nothing else, the Baftas have given us two Oscar moments to look forward to: Firth’s next speech and real supense about Best Director. The King’s Speech nearly swept all the major categories – Best Film and Best British Film, Supporting Actor for Geoffrey Rush, even music score and original screenplay. Yet in this apparently unstoppable avalanche, its director, Tom Hooper, lost to David Fincher for The Social Network. Ouch. If this gush of British sentiment bypassed Hooper he is at least vulnerable at the Oscars. Bad news for him, but much more fun for us to watch.

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