'The King's Speech' wins Screen Actors Guild Award

Royal run

The cast of 'The King’s Speech' poses with the award for Best Motion Picture Cast in the press room at the 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Expo Center in Los Angeles, California, on Sunday. AFP

“The King’s Speech” won top prizes over the weekend from Hollywood actors and directors, securing its standing as the film to beat at the February 27 Oscars, whose winners mostly look like foregone conclusions.

Front-runners coasted to victory at Sunday’s Screen Actors Guild Awards—lead performers Colin Firth as Queen Elizabeth II’s stuttering dad in “The King’s Speech” and Natalie Portman as a ballerina going off her rocker in “Black Swan,” plus supporting players Christian Bale as a boxer on the skids and Melissa Leo as his doting but domineering mother in “The Fighter.”

“The King’s Speech” also won the SAG award for overall acting ensemble. A day earlier, the film was an upset winner at the Directors Guild of America Awards, where its filmmaker Tom Hooper triumphed over David Fincher, who had been considered the favourite for “The Social Network.”

While Fincher’s Facebook chronicle dominated at the Golden Globes and critics’ awards early in the season, momentum abruptly shifted to “The King’s Speech” in barely a week.
“I’d like to thank security for letting me into the building,” Firth said as he accepted his SAG trophy.

His joke points up how quickly “The King’s Speech” usurped front-runner status from “The Social Network,” which appeared to have a smooth ride toward a best-picture and director win at the Oscars.

The previous weekend, “The King’s Speech” was a surprise recipient for the top award from the Producers Guild of America.

Last Tuesday, the film led Oscar contenders with 12 nominations.

The directors and actors guild honors, the last major ceremonies before the Oscars, may have sealed the deal for “The King’s Speech” at Hollywood’s biggest party.

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