"I have a feeling my career's just peaked," Firth said on the stage of Hollywood's Kodak Theatre Sunday night, at the 83rd annual Academy Awards.
The British actor was so excited he admitted to "experiencing stirrings … in the abdominal region that are threatening to turn themselves into dance moves."
Natalie Portman, as the troubled dancer in Black Swan, was named Best Actress. "This is insane," she said in her speech. "I truly, sincerely wish the prize tonight was to work with my fellow nominees. I am in such awe of you."
The Fighter's Melissa Leo and Christian Bale took the Oscars for Supporting Actress and Actor.
Disney-Pixar's Toy Story 3 claimed the Animated Feature Oscar and another for composer Randy Newman's Best Song, "We Belong Together."
The technical awards were monopolized by Inception, with four, and Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, with three. Surprisingly, the Coen Brothers' True Grit, which went into the evening with 10 nominations (second only to the 12 for The King's Speech) ended up being entirely shut out.
Melissa Leo Drops F-BombOver the course of the three-hour-plus evening, Leo was the first major winner. Reaching the Kodak Theatre stage and admitting the situation left her "shaking in my boots," Leo also dropped the F-bomb because of her excitement.
"When I watched Kate [Winslet, for The Reader] two years ago, it looked so [expletive deleted] ..." ABC bleeped out the words.
Speaking backstage to reporters afterwards, Leo – dressed in a Marc Bouwer gown with Jay Carlile for Forevermark earrings and diamond ring – said, "Those words – I apologize to anyone if they offend. There's a great deal of the English language that is in my vernacular. I really don't mean to offend, and probably a very inappropriate place to use that particular word."
When Best Supporting Actor Bale won later in the evening, the strongest phrase he used was "bloody hell." He did acknowledge costar Leo's speech, however.
"I'm not going to drop the F-bomb like she did. I've done that plenty before," said Bale, referring to an on-set, 4-minute rant two years ago, in which he was quoted as using the F-word 36 times during the making of Terminator Salvation.
In the Adapted Screenplay category, the winner was Aaron Sorkin for The Social Network. In his eloquent acceptance speech, he held his Oscar with pride, then addressed his daughter: "Roxy Sorkin, your father just won the Academy Award. I'm going to have to insist on some respect from your guinea pig."
With reporting by MIKE FLEEMAN
For the list of winners, click here.
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