LONDON – Royal drama “The King’s Speech” was crowned the big winner Sunday at the 2011 Orange British Academy Film Awards – a sign that it may reign again at Hollywood’s Academy Awards in two weeks’ time.
The made-in-England story of King George VI and his struggle to overcome a stutter won seven prizes, including best picture and acting trophies for Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush.
It had to share the crown jewels with Facebook-founding drama “The Social Network,” which took three prizes including best director for David Fincher. Mind-bending saga “Inception” also won three trophies.
“The King’s Speech” went into the awards as heavy favorite with 14 nomination.
As expected, Firth won best actor for his portrayal of the reluctant monarch. He has already won a best actor trophy at the Golden Globes and is a favorite for an Oscar.
“The King’s Speech” also took awards for best British film, original screenplay, original music, supporting actor for Rush’s turn as speech therapist Lionel Logue, and supporting actress for Bonham Carter’s performance as the Queen Mother Elizabeth.
Natalie Portman won the best actress prize for her performance in the psychosexual dance thriller “Black Swan.” “The Social Network” took directing and editing prizes, as well as an award for Aaron Sorkin’s adapted screenplay. “Inception” won prizes for sound, production design and visual effects.