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Mon February 28, 2011
Movies

Oscars

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:19 am

The King's Speech was crowned Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay at Sunday night's Academy Awards ceremony. It also earned Oscars for Best Director and Best Actor. It's the real-life story about King George VI, and his speech therapist, who helps him overcome a speech impediment in order to lead his people through World War II.

During the telecast, writer David Seidler, who won the Original Screenplay award, referenced his own struggle with childhood speech issues.

"I accept this on behalf of all the stutterers throughout the world," said Seidler, 73. "We have a voice. We have been heard."

Colin Firth, who portrayed the king in the film, picked up an Oscar as Best Actor, joking, "I have a feeling my career has just peaked."

Backstage, Firth said he's not happy that the R-rated movie has a new PG-13 cut. The new version mutes out the F word uttered by the Duke of York in a key scene.

"In the context of this film, [the profanity] could not be more edifying, more appropriate," he said. "It's about a man trying to free himself through the use of forbidden words. And he's so coy about it. I still haven't met the person who would object to it."

During the telecast, Academy Award censors muted out the same word during an exuberant speech by a stunned Best Supporting Actress winner, Melissa Leo. Backstage, Leo apologized for her profanity.

"I had no idea," Leo said. "Those words, I apologize to anyone they offend. There's a great deal of the English language that is in my vernacular."

In the film The Fighter, actor Christian Bale plays Leo's son, a twitchy, small-time boxer and crack addict. During his acceptance speech, Bale thanked the former boxer whose life he depicted, Dicky Eklund. Bale later told reporters that during the ceremony, he had gone out drinking with Eklund and missed out on Leo's Oscar moment.

"They wouldn't let me in. I was literally banging on the door with Dicky, going, 'Could you let us in?' " Bale recalled. "And they wouldn't let us in, so that was just my mistake. I'll know better if I ever return to an Academy Awards. I missed the F-bomb, but I've laid down many of them myself before."

2010's Best Actress, Natalie Portman, spent a year studying ballet to depict the intense and emotionally disturbed ballerina in The Black Swan.

Portman accepted her best actress Oscar by thanking her parents, her director and Benjamin Millepied, the principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, who trained her. Portman and Millepied are expecting a child.

Portman thanked her family, friends and, "my beautiful love, Benjamin Millepied, who choreographed the film and has now given me my most important role of my life."

Backstage, one reporter asked Portman if she would be naming her baby Oscar. "I think that's probably definitely out of the question," she joked.

The film Inception won four awards, for cinematography, sound editing and mixing and visual effects.

Backstage, Paul Franklin, who supervised the effects, was asked to compare winning the Oscar to the excitement of folding Paris in half, as he did in the movie.

"They're both dreamlike situations," Franklin said. "And I'm hoping that I don't actually ever wake up from this one."

The Social Network, a film about the founders of Facebook, won four Academy Awards, including Best Original Score. Trent Reznor, leader of the rock band Nine Inch Nails, composed the music for the film with his collaborator, Atticus Ross.

"It may encourage a number of other artists that haven't thought in terms of rigid, disciplined film scoring," said Reznor, "that there's a possibility to work in film and make something interesting and a bit different."

Aaron Sorkin wrote the Oscar-winning screenplay, which he conceded took more than a few jabs at Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

"I think he's been an awfully good sport about all this," Sorkin said of Zuckerberg. "I don't think there's anybody here who would want a movie made about the things they did when they were 19 years old. And if that movie absolutely, positively had to be made, you would want it made only from your point of view and you wouldn't want included also the points of view of people who are suing you for hundreds of millions of dollars. But that's the movie that we made."

Sorkin says he'd been cranky about the Internet but has been encouraged by social media mobilizing people in Cairo and other places. The nearly four-hour telecast had quite a few references to the Internet, Twitter and mobile apps. It even included an Auto-Tune music video mashup, all designed to attract a younger TV audience. And there were youthful co-hosts to match: the eager Anne Hathaway and the nonchalant James Franco.

"Anne, I must say, you look so beautiful and so hip," Franco told her onstage — to which Hathaway retorted, "Thank you, James. You look very appealing to a younger demographic as well."

Franco and his mother Tweeted about the Oscars, while his grandmother waved to actor and rapper Mark Wahlberg from the audience. Hathaway's mother jokingly admonished her to stand up straight.

But it might have been Tom Hooper's mother who had the biggest impact at the ceremony. In accepting the award for Best Director, Hooper said his mother had first seen a play reading for the King's Speech at a fringe theater in London.

"Thank God she did, because she came home, rang me up and said, 'Tom, I think I've found your next film,' " Hooper said, adding that she had to remind him repeatedly for four months to read the script before he finally did.

"The moral of the story," Hooper said, "is listen to your mother."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

The Kings Speech" ruled over last nights Academy Awards ceremony, winning four major Oscars, including Best Picture.

NPRs Mandalit del Barco was backstage at the Kodak Theater, and reports that other winners were from movies about ballerinas, fighters, dreamers and toys.

MANDALIT DEL BARCO: The Kings Speech" was crowned Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. It earned Oscars for Best Director and Best Actor. Its the real-life story about King George VI and his speech therapist.

(Soundbite of movie, "The King's Speech")

Mr. GEOFFREY RUSH (Actor): (as Lionel Logue) You do have a flabby tummy. So we'll need to spend some time strengthening your diaphragm. Simple mechanics.

Mr. COLIN FIRTH (Actor): (as King George VI) Fine.

(Soundbite of guttural sounds)

Mr. RUSH: (as Lionel Logue) Jack and Jill went up the hill.

Mr. FIRTH: (as King George VI) Went up the hill.

DEL BARCO: The therapist helps the king overcome a speech impediment to lead his people through World War II. Writer David Seidler, who won the Best Original Screenplay award, says he was able to get past his own childhood speech issues.

Mr. DAVID SEIDLER (Screenwriter): I accept this on behalf of all the stutterers throughout the world. We have a voice. We have been heard, thanks to you, the Academy.

(Soundbite of applause)

DEL BARCO: When Colin Firth picked up his Oscar as Best Actor, he joked

Mr. FIRTH: I have a feeling my career has just peaked.

(Soundbite of laughter)

DEL BARCO: Backstage, Firth said hes not happy that the R-rated movie has a new PG-13 cut; the new version mutes out the F-word in a key scene, uttered by the Duke of York.

Mr. FIRTH: But in the context of this film, it could not be more edifying, more appropriate. It's about a man trying to free himself through the use of forbidden words. And he's so coy about it. I mean, I just can't - I still haven't met the person who would object to it.

DEL BARCO: During the telecast, Academy Award censors muted out the same word during an exuberant speech by a stunned Best Supporting Actress winner, Melissa Leo.

Ms. MELISSA LEO (Actor): Yeah, I am kind of speechless. Golly sakes, theres people up there, too.

(Soundbite of laughter, cheering and applause)

Ms. LEO: When I watched Kate two years ago, it looked so...

(Soundbite of laughter)

DEL BARCO: Backstage, Leo apologized for her profanity.

Ms. LEO: I had no idea. Those words, I apologize to anyone that they offend. There's a great deal of the English language that is in my vernacular.

DEL BARCO: In the film "The Fighter," actor Christian Bale plays Leos son, a twitchy, small-time boxer and crack addict. During his acceptance speech, Bale thanked the ex-boxer whose life he depicted, Dickey Eklund. Bale later told reporters that before the ceremony, he had gone out drinking with Eklund, and missed out on Leos Oscar moment.

Mr. CHRISTIAN BALE (Actor): 'Cause they wouldnt let me in. I was literally banging on the door with Dickey, going, got to let us in! And they wouldnt let us in. So that was just my mistake. Ill know better if I ever return to an Academy Awards. I missed the F-bomb. But you know what? I've, you know

(Soundbite of a sound effect)

Mr. BALE: laid down many of them myself before.

(Soundbite of music from "The Black Swan)

DEL BARCO: The winner for Best Actress spent a year studying ballet to depict the intense and emotionally disturbed ballerina in "The Black Swan."

Mr. JEFF BRIDGES (Actor Presenting Oscar): Natalie Portman.

(Soundbite of movie, "The Black Swan)

Ms. NATALIE PORTMAN (Actor): (As Nina Sayers) He picked me, Mommy.

Ms. BARBARA HERSHEY (Actress): (As Erica Sayers ) Did he really, for "Swan Lake?"

Ms. PORTMAN (Actor): (As Nina Sayers) I'm going to be Swan Queen.

DEL BARCO: Natalie Portman accepted her Best Actress Oscar by thanking her parents, her director, and the principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, who trained her. Theyre now expecting a child.

Ms. PORTMAN: My beautiful love, Benjamin Millepied, who choreographed the film, and has now given me my most important role - of my life.

DEL BARCO: Backstage, one reporter asked the visibly pregnant Portman what it felt like to win the award.

Ms. PORTMAN: It feels very, very dream-like right now. I dont really know where I am, I suppose.

Unidentified Man #2: Would it be too crazy to think that you might name your baby Oscar?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. PORTMAN: I think thats probably - definitely out of the question.

(Soundbite of laughter)

DEL BARCO: The film "Inception" won four awards last night, for cinematography, sound editing and mixing, and visual effects. Paul Franklin, who supervised the effects, was asked to compare winning the Oscar to the excitement of folding Paris in half, as he did in the movie.

Mr. PAUL FRANKLIN (Supervisor, Visual Effects, "Inception"): Theyre both dreamlike situations. And I just say, Im hoping I dont actually ever wake up from this one.

(Soundbite of music from "The Social Network")

DEL BARCO: "The Social Network," a film about the founders of Facebook, won four Academy Awards last night, including Best Original Score. Trent Reznor, leader of the industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, composed the music with his collaborator, Atticus Ross.

Mr. TRENT REZNOR (Co-Composer, "The Social Network" Music Theme): It may encourage a number of artists that haven't thought in terms of rigid, discipline of film scoring, that there's a possibility out there to work in film, and make something interesting and a bit different.

DEL BARCO: Aaron Sorkin wrote the Oscar-winning screenplay, which he conceded took more than a few jabs at Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Mr. AARON SORKIN (Screenwriter): I think hes been an awfully good sport about this. You know, I dont think there's anybody here who would want a movie made about the things they did when they were 19 years old. And if that movie absolutely, positively had to be made, you would want it made only from your point of view. And you wouldnt want included, also, the points of view of people who were suing you for hundreds of millions of dollars.

DEL BARCO: Sorkin said hed been cranky about the Internet, but has been encouraged by social media mobilizing people in Cairo and other places.

The nearly four-hour telecast had quite a few references to the Internet, and Twitter and mobile apps. It even included an auto tune music video mash-up, all designed to attract a younger TV audience. That was also the reason for choosing this years co-hosts, the eager Anne Hathaway and rather casual James Franco.

(Soundbite of applause)

Mr. JAMES FRANCO (Actor): Anne, I must say, you look so beautiful and so hip.

Ms. ANNE HATHAWAY (Actor): Oh. Thank you, James.

Mr. FRANCO: Yeah.

Ms. HATHAWAY: You look very appealing to a younger demographic as well.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. FRANCO: Thank you. Thank you very much.

DEL BARCO: Franco and his mother tweeted about the Oscars, while his grandmother waved to rapper Marky Mark Wahlberg from the audience. And Anne Hathaways mother jokingly admonished her to stand up straight.

But it might have been Tom Hoopers mother who made the most impact at last nights ceremony. In accepting the award for Best Director, Hooper said his mother had first seen a play reading for "The Kings Speech" at a fringe theater in London.

Mr. TOM HOOPER (Director, "The King's Speech"): Thank God she did because she came home, rang me up and said Tom, I think Ive found your next film.

DEL BARCO: Hooper says she had to remind him repeatedly, for four months, to read it before he finally did.

Mr. HOOPER: And the morale of the story is: Listen to your mother.

(Soundbite of laughter and applause)

DEL BARCO: Mandalit del Barco, NPR News, Hollywood.

INSKEEP: Our Oscar coverage continues online, including contributions from blogger Linda Holmes, and the folks at WAIT WAITDONT TELL ME. They've got a feature here, with photos from the red carpet. They say it's style commentary, from people who have none. It's at NPR.org/Oscars.

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Im Steve Inskeep. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

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