An Awards Show Fit for a 'King'

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), January 31, 2011 | Go to article overview

An Awards Show Fit for a 'King'


Byline: David Germain Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- "The King's Speech" won the best-actor trophy Sunday for Colin Firth and a second honor for its overall cast at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

The two prizes capped a weeklong surge of Hollywood honors for the British monarchy saga, which is building momentum for the Academy Awards, where the Facebook drama "The Social Network" previously had looked like the favorite.

Natalie Portman earned the best-actress award at the Screen Actors ceremony for "Black Swan," while "The Fighter" co-stars Christian Bale and Melissa Leo swept the supporting-acting honors, boosting their own prospects come Oscar night.

"The King's Speech" leads Oscar contenders with 12 nominations, among them best picture and actor for Firth, who has been the awards favorite virtually since the film premiered at festivals half a year ago.

"Until today, I would say probably, if ever I felt that I had a trophy which has told me that something's really happening for me, it was my SAG card," said Firth, who plays Queen Elizabeth's dad, George VI, as he takes the throne in the 1930s while struggling to overcome a debilitating stammer.

"Growing up in England, it's not something you expect to see in your wallet, really," Firth continued. "And so it has this glow, and I used to flash it around, hoping it would get me female attention, entry into nightclubs and top-level government departments. It didn't."

Bale is a strong favorite for the supporting-actor Oscar as real-life fighter Dicky Eklund, whose career unraveled amid drugs and crime. Eklund briefly joined Bale on stage, the actor telling him he's "a real gentleman. …

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