Oscar best director gives credit to mother

14:58, February 28, 2011      

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British director Tom Hooper accepts the best foreign film award for "The King's Speech" during the 2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, California February 26, 2011. (Reuters File Photo)

Tom Hooper, who won the best-director Oscar for helming "The King's Speech," said Sunday night that the credit should go to his mother.

"My mom in 2007 was invited by some Australian friends ...to a fringe theater play reading of an unproduced, unrehearsed play called 'The King's Speech,'" Hooper said upstage at the Kodak Theatre, where the 83rd Academy Awards Ceremony was held.

"Now she's never been invited to a play reading before. She almost didn't go, it didn't sound exactly promising, but thankful she did because she came home, rang me up and said, 'Tom, I think I've found your next film.' So with this tonight, I honor you and the moral of the story is, listen to your mother."

In addition to best director, "The King's Speech" -- the story of King George VI's struggle to overcome a persistent stammer -- dominated the Academy Awards by also claiming Oscars for best picture, actor and original screenplay.

Colin Firth, 50, who won best actor for playing King George VI, said his "deepest thanks" went to the Academy.

"I have a feeling my career has just peaked," he joked as he took the Kodak Theatre stage to accept the Oscar. "My deepest thanks to the Academy. I'm afraid I have to warn you that I'm experiencing stirrings somewhere in the upper abdominals which are threatening to form themselves into dance moves. Joyous as they may be for me, it would be extremely problematic if they make it to my legs before I get off stage."

He thanked the cast and crew of "The King's Speech," including Hooper for "immense courage and clear-sightedness."

Firth later told reporters backstage said he will be turning his attention to matters in the kitchen.

"I've started having fantasies about what I'll do," Firth said after winning his first Academy Award.

"I think I'm going to cook a lot," he said. "I don't think I'm particularly good at it, but I'm going to inflict my cooking on anybody within range."

David Seidler, who won the Oscar for best original screenplay for "The King's Speech," joked about claiming the prize in his 70s.

"My father always said to me I would be a late bloomer,'' he said, drawing laughs from the Kodak Theatre crowd. "I believe I am the oldest person to win this particular award. I hope that record is broken quickly and often."

Natalie Portman, who was named best actress for her role as a tortured ballet dancer in the psychological thriller "Black Swan," said winning the prize "is insane."

"And I truly sincerely wish that the prize tonight was to get to work with my fellow nominees. I'm so in awe of you. I'm so grateful to get to do the job that I do. I love it so much," the 29-year-old pregnant actress said.

"I want to thank my parents, who are right there, first and foremost for giving me my life, for giving me the opportunity to work from such an early age and showing me every day how to be a good human being by example," she said.

Charles Ferguson, co-winner of the Oscar Academy Award for "Inside Job", had a message for U.S. leaders after winning the award.

He said Americans should elect their leaders who are independent of the financial sector.

Only when Americans choose to elect leaders who will be independent of the financial sector will the country see changes on Wall Street, Ferguson said after co-winning the Oscar award for best documentary feature, which is about the financial meltdown.

"I think there's a great deal of disappointment and anger in America that nothing has been done about this," said Ferguson, who shared the award with Audrey Marrs.

"Unfortunately, I think the reason is predominately that the financial industry has become so politically powerful (that) it is able to inhibit the normal processes of justice and law enforcement," Ferguson said.

Ferguson said he and his co-creator did not receive any threats during the making of the film.

"I would say the biggest surprise to me personally, and biggest disappointment, was that nobody in the Obama administration would speak with me, even off the record," Ferguson said.

The winners of "Strangers No More" which won the award for best documentary short said documentary filmmakers must foster close, intimate relationships with their subjects, although maintaining some sort of distance in a professional relationship is valued in many fields.

"Every documentary filmmaker I know of any regard will tell you the same thing -- that you enter someone's life ...and they'll become a part of their family in a very particular way," said co-winner Karen Goodman.

"It's a part of making documentaries,'' she told reporters backstage at the Academy Awards. "You enter people's lives and you become a part of each other's lives forever."

Co-creator Kirk Simon echoed that sentiment.

"It's a responsibility that you have to really take to heart. The friendships that you make do stay with you for the rest of your life," he said.

The documentary is based on a journey to an Israeli school.

"It's been a very fulfilling journey, even before tonight, because it's brought a spotlight to a miraculous, very small school in Tel Aviv, where children from 48 different countries ...come and learn together in peace," Goodman said.

"The message of hope is starting to get out there in this microcosm of 800 children that really do believe that peace is possible."

Source: Xinhua
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