By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood February 28, 2011 at 2:35AM
Best Actress: Natalie Portman, Black Swan
ONSTAGE SPEECH: "Thank you so much to the Academy this 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. I want to thank my parents, who are right there, first and foremost for giving me my life and for giving me the opportunity to work from such an early age and showing me everyday how to be a good human being by example...MORE"
Best Actor: Colin Firth, The King's Speech
ONSTAGE SPEECH: "I have a feeling my career has just peaked. 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...MORE"
Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo, The Fighter
ONSTAGE SPEECH: "Oh my, oh my God. Oh wow really, really, really, really, really, truly wow. I know there's a lot of people that said a lotta real real nice things to me for several months now, but I'm just shaking in my boots here. Ok, alright. Thank you David O. Russell. I want to thank the actors, Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, he might run out for a second, Amy, my sweet sister Adams, Jack, our lovely daughters. OK. Yeah, I am kind of speechless. Golly sakes, there's people up there too. When I watched Kate two years ago, it looked so [EXPLETIVE DELETED]. Alice Ward, your beautiful family that opened your hearts. I saw Mick here earlier. Dick, a shout out for Nana? Alright Dick's not in the room...
Thank you so much, opening your hearts to all of us to make this film. I thanked David, I'll thank him again. My family, my beautiful son who is traveling right now in South America and can't join me. It's ok, I'm ok Jack. My Mom and my Dad and my brother and my friends and my family. I want to thank the very most of all, the Academy of Motion Picture Sciences, the Board of Governors, and all their members, whom many of you are here today. This has been a extraordinary journey in getting to know what the Academy is about and first and foremost, thank you Academy, because it's about selling motion pictures and respecting the work! Thank you so much."
BACKSTAGE, On use of the "F" word: "I had no idea. This words… I apologize to anyone that they offended. There's a great deal of the English language that is in my vernacular. I really don't mean to offend and it's probably a very inappropriate place to use that particular word,” she said.
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, The Fighter
ONSTAGE SPEECH: "Bloody hell. Wow, what a room full of talented and inspirational people and what the hell am I doing here in the midst of you? It's such an honor. David O. Russell, what a great spirit, you know, on the set. Just fantastic, and thank you so much mate for making the work that all of us actors did actually mean something. You know, I mean that's the director's job of translating it to the audience and making it mean something. Thank you for that. Thank you to Pamela Martin, likewise, as our editor. The just incredible work of every actor. Melissa, I'm not going to drop the f-bomb like she did, I've done that plenty before. Amy, Jack, Mark, man, you know the guy who just got this whole thing going right from the get go. Everybody in Lowell, all the actors from there. Dicky and Micky, where my quacker? Is he up there? Dicky's out there somewhere mate, eh mate? You're the best...He's had a wonderful story and I can't wait to see the next chapter of his story...if you wanna get trained with him go meet with him. Dickeklund.com, go do it...So many movies are just brilliant but nobody ever knows about them, you know. So we're so lucky to be here tonight and have people recognize that...
And of course mostly, my wonderful wife, I didn't think I was like this. My wonderful wife who's my mast through the storms of life, I hope I'm likewise to you darling and our little girl who's taught me so much more than I'll ever be able to teach her. Thank you, thank you so much."
BACKSTAGE Q & A: "It's just a genuine thing, you know, I'm so flattered when anybody, any person, you know, any one person who walks up to me and says that they were really touched by a performance, I really adore that. I really love hearing that...what we do becomes so much bigger than ourselves and I appreciate that so much. And I've been in China. I just got back the day before yesterday, I've not been a part of any of the campaign that's been going on. And just to get back and then hear people tell me how much it means is just wonderful. That's what you're hoping for...I want to say [that] obviously the nominees who were nominated for Best Supporting Actor are just phenomenal actors and incredible. But equally, there's so many other actors out there who would deserve being up here as well,...This is a very bizarre thing. But at the same time, I just can't help but be touched so dearly by it. You know, people, so many inspirational, talented people decided that I was worthy of this. I just treasure this."
Q. We all know how much you love acting but you hate dealing with the press. So what have you learned in these last couple months that you have to deal with more and more press leading up to this night?
A. "Well, the beautiful thing about it is I've been in China for the last month. So I actually haven't had to deal with any of it, you know, I've been out of it. I haven't been campaigning. And I always felt like, you know, it really has to be the performance that stands by itself and should be merited upon that and if I would have lost, I would have still said the same. I wouldn't have regretted anything. I would have just applauded whoever won and there's so many wonderful performances out there."
Best Director: Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech
ONSTAGE SPEECH: "Wow, thank you to all the members of the Academy. This is an extraordinary honor. I'd like to congratulate my fellow nominees, Darren, David, David, Joel, and Ethan. Your work this year has been extraordinary. I'm honored to be nominated alongside you. Thank you to my wonderful actors. The triangle of man love which is Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, and me. I'm only here because of you guys and Helena, I hope that reference doesn't make you too jealous. Thank you to all my cast, to my wonderful crew, to my producers, Iain, Gareth, and Emile, to David Seidler, whose extraordinary journey from childhood stammerer to the stage of the Kodak I find so profoundly moving...MORE"
Best Original Screenplay: David Seidler, The King's Speech
BACKSTAGE Q & A: You said you felt this movie has now given stammerers a voice around the world. Talk to me a little bit more about that. Why do you think that is?
A. "Well, I don't want to give away privileged information, but you know, a fairly high ranking person called me the other day and wanted to talk ex stutterer to ex stutterer and expressed their guilt at the fact that for so many years they stayed in the closet because they felt it would hurt their career to be known as an ex stutterer because people still have the archaic notion that we stutterers are feeble minded simply because it is difficult to articulate our thoughts. And the fact that this film has come out has given so many people the courage to talk about their stuttering, and I've been flooded with the most wonderful e mails, phone calls, text messages from my fellow stutterers because I'm still a stutterer, all right. I know all the tricks; you don't hear it. I don't even have to think about it anymore, but I am still a stutterer. But to have these people tell me their personal stories, really moves me to tears...MORE"
Best Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network
BACKSTATE Q & A: You create the words and then comes that magical mystery. The actors come in, little by little, you see it forming. Tell us about when you began to realize, "Hey, they got the right people to play this, they're handling my words, it's going..."
A. "I'll try to sum it up this way: Like a lot of people, I grew up worshipping the movie The Graduate and I always wondered what it must have felt like for Buck Henry to see Dustin Hoffman just do it for the first time, do Benjamin Braddock for the first time in rehearsal. And I don't wonder anymore. I know exactly how he felt because I've seen Jesse do it and I've seen Andrew do it, Justin, Armie and his cast do it. I know under the guidance of David Fincher who just did a mind blowing job with an incredibly talented but very, very young cast. And that was the fear that, you know, this material isn't for beginners, but these were the youngest characters I'd ever written. So we were going to have to find exceptional actors. We found them all. David got the greatest performances out of them. It wasn't just the performances. It was I don't know if you know, but Trent Reznor just won best score for the movie. It was everything. It was a triumph of teamwork...MORE"
Best Foreign Language Film: In A Better World, (Denmark) Director Susanne Bier (here's our interview)
ONSTAGE SPEECH: "This is a real Oscar? Thank you so much, the Academy, what an honor. I am so truly honored and grateful and happy, thank you very much. I really need to congratulate my fellow nominees whose movies were amazing. And I really want to thank Tom Bernard and Michael Barker at Sony Classics for believing so strongly "In a Better World." All my, all my creative partners whether they are in this room or in Denmark or Sweden, this one belongs to all of you as much as it belongs to me. Thank you very much...MORE"
Best Animated Feature Film: Lee Unkrich, Toy Story 3
ONSTAGE SPEECH: "Oh boy. I can't believe I'm actually saying this, but thank you to the Academy. I wouldn't be standing here if it weren't for the vision of three incredible guys. John Lasseter, Ed Catmull, and Steve Jobs, the founders of Pixar Animation Studios, which by the way, is the most awesome place on the planet to make movies. To my producer, Darla Anderson, screenwriter Michael Arndt, my cast and crew, everyone at Disney and Pixar, every single person who had absolutely anything to do with making Toy Story 3 and getting it out into the world, I share this with you...thank you to audiences all over the world who came out in historic numbers and embraced a movie about talking toys that hopefully had something very human to say. Thank you. Thank you! Thank you!"
BACKSTAGE Q & A: Getting this Oscar is a great accomplishment, but you guys are also up for Best Picture later tonight. The night is still young; who knows what will happen there? I am curious going through this whole journey, do you think the Academy is starting to change and get a little bit more accepting of animated films being worthy of this award like their live action counterparts?
A. "I do. I do. I think the fact that two years running now we have had animated films that have made it and received Best Picture nominations show that the walls between live action and animation are becoming a bit more permeable. I think we have a ways to go, but I think the fact that we made it into that category twice now, we have accomplished something. And the fact that so many people around the world that even in the Academy have come up to me and said, you know, Toy Story 3 was my favorite film of the year, that just tells me that we are doing something right. Hopefully, eventually people will just vote with their heart and if they truly think that a film moved them the most or excited them the most and it happens to be animated, that some day an animated film could win Best Picture."
Best Documentary: Inside Job, Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
ONSTAGE SPEECH: (Charles Ferguson) "Forgive me, I must start by pointing out that three years after a horrific financial crisis caused by massive fraud, not a single financial executive has gone to jail and that's wrong. Thank you, but this is, this is also, this is about the movies, in fact, and that's what this is. So, thank you all for this profound honor. You've made us very, very happy. Thank you all. Let the record show, I'm not wearing jeans."
(Audrey Marrs) "Having only made two films, I still feel that Charles and I are newcomers to this community, but from the beginning we've been made to feel incredibly welcome and supported for which I'm immensely grateful. Thank you so much to the Academy and to Sony Classics, Michael and Tom, and much love and gratitude to my family. Thank you so much."
BACKSTAGE Q & A: Why do you think nothing has been done about this?
A: (Ferguson) "Unfortunately, I think that 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. And I am sure also that personal decisions were made by President Obama and high level members of the administration about this question as well…I think that something will be done, if and only if, the American people get angry enough."
Q: What would you like to see an angry electorate do if you could wave your magic wand, and you can't, because it's a big problem and the problems are structural and systemic, but ideally what would you like to see changed?
A: (Ferguson) "Well, I think the the policy measures that should be taken are fairly clear, although technically complicated. I think the principal question is whether it's possible for us to elect leaders who are determined to really do something about this in the face of what would obviously be extremely serious and determined opposition from the financial services industry and its lobby."
Q: I was wondering what your take in there's a lot of talk about Banksy and all that stuff. What were your thoughts on that? Did it draw away from the documentary or were you happy that people were talking about the film?
A: (Marrs) "I would never question the integrity of another filmmaker, and I appreciate the fact that there was a film that was fun and funny, and I don't think documentarians should necessarily feel obligated to make films about these really heavy subjects. Although, in some ways, I guess making a film about art is, but I appreciated there was one like that in the mix because I think documentarians should be able to make films about whatever they want."
Bes Original Score: The Social Network, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
ONSTAGE SPEECH: (Trent Reznor) "Wow, is this really happening? When we finished work on The Social Network, we were very proud of our work and happy just to be involved in this film. And to be standing up here in this company is humbling and flattering beyond words. I'd like to especially thank the Academy for recognizing our work here and David Fincher. David Fincher, thank you so much for the opportunity. Also like to thank my wonderful wife, Mariqueen, I love you so much."
(Atticus Ross) "Time's nearly out, so I'm going to improvise a little. David, everyone who brought the film to life, thank you so much. Trent, I think you're a genius, a great friend, and a genius. My wonderful wife, Claudia, and our three children. I love you. Thank you."
BACKSTAGE Q & A: I've been a huge fan personally for Nine Inch Nails and but what prompted you to shift to compose this type of music from such a rock and roll type of music?
A: (Reznor) "Well, I kind of put Nine Inch Nails on the back burner for awhile, try to branch out, try some different things...when David approached me to do that, a lot of the music he was using for a very temporary edit, was based on the Ghost records that Atticus and I both worked on with Nine Inch Nails. So, it wasn't a side of my Nine Inch Nails nature that was soundtrack ish, so it wasn't hugely, in terms of, it wasn't a giant stretch for me to try this. So, it was interesting to have to work with a picture and actually serve the picture and that was the biggest challenge. David Fincher was very clear about what he wanted, and it was an education and, as I said earlier, it was a real pleasant one of the best experiences I've had from start to finish."
Q: You said David Fincher gave you specific direction or really knew what you wanted; was there kind of an overwhelming or over arching theme he had for you guys?
A: (Reznor) "Well, we had read the script and David called us in and said, the only immediate direction was, 'I don't want to use an orchestra. I would like it to feel kind of electronic.' He referenced a couple films. Blade Runner was one of them...the thing with David though, and I think this is where we we hit the mark right from the start, is David is never making things up on the fly. And it was difficult at first for us to see a film or read a film and read a script that was a bunch of people talking in rooms. It was no great sweeping landscapes or battle scenes or anything like that and it wasn't obvious to us what flavor or kind of shape the music was going to have...I knew [David] had an idea of what would make this picture special and that kind of rested on the music. We just generated blindly with no picture. We wrote almost two hours worth of music, just to give him, say, 'Hey, it feels to us like the emotional temperature of this film,' and what could be interesting and a little darker than I thought he was going to react to it. And that became 90 percent of what you heard in the picture."
Q: Trent and Atticus, are there any popular artists whose music you listen to, who you'd encourage or like to see a score from, going forward?
A: (Reznor) "I've befriended Hans Zimmer in this process of battling him at award shows, all these things had come up. And he said in a lot of ways, 'I hope that your score does win because it's a vote for it opens the field up a bit, the textures what one can expect in film.' And I personally would like to do a very traditional score with an orchestra, but...I think that the there's a general sense of conservatism in scores these days, and I think it can branch out into stuff and has a little richer palette and whiter palette with sound. And I was very impressed we actually won this with a very nontraditional sounding score...I think it may encourage a number of artists who hadn't thought in terms of rigid film scoring, that there's a possibility out there to work in film and make something interesting, a bit different."
Best Original Song: "We Belong Together" from Toy Story 3, Randy Newman
ONSTAGE SPEECH: "I'm very grateful for this and surprised. My percentages aren't great. I've been nominated 20 times and this is the 2nd time I won. At the Academy, at the lunch they have for the nominees, where they have like a Randy Newman chicken by this time, the, Mr. Mischer said that it's not really good television to take a list out of your pocket and thank a lot of people. It's not my style anyway, but it is in this case. I mean to have worked for Pixar doing the six pictures I've done, this one Lee Unkrich and worked with Mitchell Froom, Chris Montan at Disney. I just have to thank these people. I don't want to, I want to be good television so badly, as you can see. I've been on this show any number of times and I've slowed it down almost every time. No wonder they only nominate 4 songs, what about cinematography. So there's 5. They could find a fifth song from someone. But hell with it. Think it might have beat me. Anyway, I thank you all very much for this. The Academy has been enormously kind to me as has the Music Branch and I love you all. Thank you very much."
Best Film Editing: The Social Network, Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter
ONSTAGE SPEECH: (Angus Wall) "We want to thank everybody that Aaron thanked, first and foremost and a special thank you to David, who, it's indescribable working with you and thank you for starting my career 20 odd years ago. Also, a big thank you to our wives, who allow us to have incredibly passionate love affairs with our families and our work."
(Kirk Baxter) "To my daughter, Bronte, find something you truly love doing and great things can happen. The hard part is, you got to meet someone like Fincher. Cheers."
BACKSTAGE Q & A: A lot can be made by David Fincher doing undertake scenes. As editor, is that a boon, something you look forward to, or is it daunting?
A: "As an editor, it's a great gift. You get lots and lots of coverage and a lot of different performances because it allows you to do that much better. There's a lot, you know, there's a lot you know, there's this rumor that there was an opening scene in the movie had 99 takes, but we never saw 99 takes. You know, David, he's always driving for something specific, and he can sometimes get it in three takes. He can sometimes get it in 30 takes. It just all depends. But he always delivers the most amazing footage for us to work with."
Best Visual Effects: Inception, Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
ONSTAGE SPEECH: (Paul Franklin) "Well, it feels like that top is still spinning, but I don't really care anymore. Thank you very much Chris, Emma, Warner Bros. Thank you to my producers Matt Plummer and Mike Chambers. Thank you to the brilliant visual effects team at Double Negative back in London. And to my amazing wife and our wonderful kids. My mum and dad back in Cheshire, and to the Academy for this."
(Chris Corbould) "Hi, I just want to share this with my amazing special effects teams in Los Angeles, Canada, France, Morocco, and my great crew in the UK. And also to their families for their support especially my wife, Lynne, and the kids. Great, thank you."
BACKSTAGE Q & A: Inception was praised for marrying practical and post effects. Going forward as CG continues to improve, do you think that relationship will continue?
A: "I hope so, yes, because I think that's where you get the best possible results. If you're always basing something in reality, it's very important that everything in our film feel real all the time, that's the story after all. But if you try to do that (unintelligible), I think you're going to get a result that everyone can tell which was created in some sort of way, but I think the special effects are just as important as the visual effects."
Best Short Film (Animated): Shawn Tan and Andrew Ruhemann, The Lost Thing
ONSTAGE SPEECH: (Tan) "Wow, this is quite surreal. Our film is about a creature that nobody pays any attention to, so this is wonderfully ironic. The award really goes to our producer, Sophie Byrne, the true champion of this project for the past 10 years. Alongside Andrew and our splendid animation team of Leo Baker and Tom Bryant. The Oscar also goes to John Kassab, Mike Yezerski, Adrian Medhurst, Tim Minchin, Screen Australia, and everybody whose supported us with such generosity and patience. Many thanks to our families and friends, to my wife Anari,...and to Perth and Melbourne this one is to you too."
Best Art Direction: Production Design: Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Karen O'Hara, Alice in Wonderland
BACKSTAGE Q & A: What was your biggest production design challenge on this film because it seemed like every scene probably would have been, but can you talk about that, but also in terms of set direction, what was your biggest challenge?
A: "Well, you know, any time you work on a Tim Burton film, there's a bar that you have to meet, and the challenge for a film like this is that we had a great deal of digital sets, but there were some challenging physical sets. And the biggest challenge was sort of making sure the director, the actors knew where they were at all times in these green environments through, having virtual versions of those sets available to them; physical models, and illustrations."
[Courtesy of © Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences]