OSCARS 2011: Christian Bale, Melissa Leo Win Supporting Oscars for 'The Fighter'The top Oscars given out in the first half at the 83rd Academy Awards have all gone as expected. Christian Bale won supporting actor for his role as the drug-addicted former boxer in "The Fighter."
By: Susan Kin, Rene Lynch, Los Angeles Times (MCT)
LOS ANGELES — So far, ho-hum.
The top Oscars given out in the first half at the 83rd Academy Awards have all gone as expected.
Christian Bale won supporting actor for his role as the drug-addicted former boxer in "The Fighter."
"What the hell am I doing here in the midst of you?" Bale said, referring to all the talent in the room. He singled out his co-stars, including Melissa Leo, who earlier had won for supporting actress for playing his mother in the film. But, Bale joked, "I'm not going to drop the f-bomb like she did." (Leo later apologized for the emotional slip.)
Bale and Leo were considered shoo-ins, and it was just two of many awards that went as expected.
Adapted screenplay went to Aaron Sorkin for "The Social Network," while original screenplay went to David Seidler for "The King's Speech." 'Toy Story 3" won animated film and original song, for Randy Newman's "We Belong Together." Art direction went to production designer Robert Stromberg and set decorator Karen O'Hara for "Alice in Wonderland." Cinematography went to Wally Pfister for "Inception." Director Susanne Bier became only the third woman to win in the foreign language film category for Denmark's "In a Better World." (Bier had won the Golden Globe.) Original score went to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for "The Social Network," and "Inception" won for sound mixing and sound editing. Makeup went to "The Wolfman," and costume design went to Colleen Atwood for "Alice in Wonderland."
"Inception" is the big winner of the night, with four Oscars. "The Social Network" has three, and "The Fighter," 'Toy Story 3" and "Alice in Wonderland" each have two.
Other honors given out were short subject documentary, which went to Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon for "Strangers No More," a film about a Tel Aviv school for children struggling to overcome adversity. Live action short went to "God of Love" by Luke Matheny, who thanked his mother for doing craft services during shooting the film about a modern-day Cupid.
Oprah Winfrey handed out the Oscar for documentary feature to Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs for "Inside Job," about what caused the country's economic crisis. Ferguson noted that three years after the crisis, not a single financial executive has gone to jail, "and that's wrong," he said.
A surprise appearance by Billy Crystal, considered by many to be the best Oscar host over the past 20 years, earned a standing ovation. He introduced a tribute to Bob Hope, who had hosted the awards 18 times. Through movie magic and some crafty dubbing, Hope was projected, hologram-like, at a podium to crack wise and introduce presenters Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. The pair handed out Oscars for visual effects ("Inception") and editing ("The Social Network").
To lure younger audiences, the academy chose James Franco, nominated for lead actor for "127 Hours," and Anne Hathaway, nominated two years ago for lead actress for "Rachel Getting Married," to emcee the 83rd Academy Awards being held at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood.
The pair kicked off the show with a clever montage in which they were injected into the top Oscar-nominated films, including "Inception," 'True Grit," 'The Kids Are All Right," 'The King's Speech" and more. After taking a trip "Back to the Future," the couple ended up onstage for banter with each other — and their mother and grandmother. A bit long perhaps but otherwise nonoffensive and kind of sweet.
So what else to watch out for Sunday night?
Prognosticators say it will be either "The King's Speech" or "The Social Network" that wins the top prize: best picture.
"The Social Network," the drama about how Harvard computer nerds created the social networking site Facebook, had been the front-runner during the awards season, winning countless critics honors, including the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn., New York Film Critics Circle and the National Society of Film Critics awards as well as the Golden Globe for dramatic film.
But the tide began to turn in late January when "The King's Speech," the British period piece about George VI's struggle to overcome his stutter before being crowned king of England, began to pick up steam, winning the Producers Guild of America Award, the Directors Guild of America Award for Tom Hooper, the top Screen Actors Guild Award and the BAFTA for best film.
A win for either one, however, is far from certain. With 10 best picture nominations to choose from, there could be a twist: Perhaps the blockbuster "Toy Story 3" or the Coen brothers' revisionist Western, "True Grit," could snatch the big prize.
Besides best picture, there are several other dramatic story lines to watch, including that of director. David Fincher of "The Social Network" has won the lion's share of awards in this category. Though he lost the DGA honor to Hooper, he did earn the BAFTA as director. Remember that the DGA award is one of the most reliable bellwethers in predicting Oscar gold, but it's not a lock: The DGA and the academy differed twice in the directing choices in the last decade.
For lead actor, Colin Firth is considered the odds-on favorite for his poignant performance of King George VI in "The King's Speech." The British actor has won countless critics awards as well as a BAFTA, Golden Globe, Critics Choice and SAG. His nearest competition is Jesse Eisenberg for "The Social Network."
On the lead actress side, Natalie Portman could dance away with her first actress Academy Award for her performance of the unbalanced prima ballerina in "Black Swan." She won the BAFTA, Golden Globe for dramatic actress and SAG award for her performance. Besides, she's also pregnant, which seemed to be a good luck charm for Eva Marie Saint ("On the Waterfront"), Rachel Weisz ("The Constant Gardener") and Meryl Streep ("Sophie's Choice"). All three were also pregnant when they won.
But her thunder could be stolen by Annette Bening, who won the Golden Globe for actress in a comedy or musical for "The Kids Are All Right" as half of a lesbian couple. Bening has been nominated three times before for the Academy Award and has yet to win.
(c) 2011, Los Angeles Times.