All things Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tonys
He's already been booked to make an early Monday morning appearance on "Good Morning America," followed by a stop at Oprah's annual Oscar special.
"I don't think I'm going to go to bed for a while. [But] I don't want to be the first person to go on 'Oprah' drunk, so I'll try to restrain myself," he said backstage, moments after receiving his statue.
Hooper said the success of the film made him realize that he needs to continue to search for good stories, as before uncovering "The King's Speech," he "didn't quite believe there were masterpieces sitting unread in attics."
"I kind of thought the system worked -- that there were scouts, and if there was a good script, we'd all know it," he said. "But this play failed to be produced as a fringe theater play. This play was going nowhere when I came to it."
Though he's eager to leave the awards trail behind, Hooper said he's going to miss his newfound friends, Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush, with whom he claims to have an "extraordinary connection."
"We had a rehearsal period of about three weeks, and I just think we kind of became incredibly good friends ... and we're all friends for life," he said. "There's something about the way I was shooting them -- the fact that I liked them so much as people is probably in the DNA of the movie."
Photo: Tom Hooper. Credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images
Tom Hooper won the Oscar for director for “The King’s Speech” at the 83rd Academy Awards on Sunday night. It is the first Oscar win for the 38-year-old filmmaker, who was considered to be in a tight race with “The Social Network’s” David Fincher for the prize. Hooper, whose film chronicles England’s King George VI trying to overcome his stutter, also won the Directors Guild of America Award and had been nominated for a Golden Globe and a BAFTA, the British equivalent of the Academy Award.
In addition to Fincher, Hooper was competing against Darren Aronofsky for “Black Swan,” Joel and Ethan Coen for “True Grit” and David O. Russell for “The Fighter.”
The Academy Awards are taking place at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood and are being televised live on ABC. We'll carry all the breaking news and reaction here on Awards Tracker.
-- Susan King
Photo: Tom Hooper. Credit: Associated Press.
Academy Award front-runner "The King's Speech," director Tom Hooper's drama about King George VI's attempts to overcome a debilitating stammer, has won the Film Independent Spirit Award for best foreign film, representing Britain. The film is vying for 12 Oscars at Sunday's 83rd Academy Awards.
Photo: Colin Firth in "The King's Speech" Credit: The Weinstein Co.
Check out the Oscar predictions at The Envelope's Buzzmeter and you'll notice something amazing. While six of the nine experts say "The King's Speech" will win best picture, none of the nine believe its helmer, Tom Hooper, will bag the trophy for best director.
Normally, those two awards match up -– about 80% of the time over the past 50 years. The agreement rate is a bit less in recent years -- 70% over the past decade -– but that's still impressive.
Tom Hooper recently won the top prize bestowed by the Directors Guild of America, which also tends to overlap with the Oscar for director: 70% over the past 10 years.
Given these stats, you'd think all Oscarologists would be betting on Hooper. Or at least most of them. But it's utterly flabbergasting that none of the pundits we poll is in his camp. Everybody's betting on David Fincher ("The Social Network"). Why?
There is a widespread belief this year that "The Social Network" is getting cheated out of the best picture award that major film critics' groups believe it deserves. In fact, "The Social Network" won the best picture awards bestowed by them all, plus the Golden Globe. Consensus like that is rare. Suddenly, as it heads into the Oscars, "The Social Network" looks like it is being punished for being artistically honest -– for not being a huggy, feel-good film, which Oscar voters like.
As a result, guilt-ridden Oscar voters will probably want to give it a top award in some category. Sure, it will probably win the awards for adapted screenplay and film editing, maybe music score too, but that's not enough. If it had a realistic chance to win an acting award that might take care of voters' obligation to give it major due, but it doesn't.
Therefore, the Oscar category for director seems to be the logical place for voters to go. Arguably, "Social Network" is a superior directorial achievement to "King's Network" anyway. Let's be honest: David Fincher really deserves to win. Hooper took DGA because voters had the same heartfelt response to its story and had only one category to express themselves. If they had had two categories, they probably would've split their votes for both films.
Still, it seems ludicrous to bet against Hooper considering he won DGA and his film is universally expected to win best picture too, don't you think? No. Let's recall 2002 when "Chicago's" Rob Marshall won DGA and the film claimed the Oscar for best picture. Marshall lost the Academy Award for director to Roman Polanski ("The Pianist"). I think it's a parallel situation. Back then, DGA voters had a strong emotional response to "Chicago," so they honored Marshall with their only award. At the Oscars, voters had a chance to split the honors and did so.
-- Tom O'Neil
Photos: Tom Hooper (Weinstein Co.); David Fincher, right, with Aaron Sorkin (Columbia)
It was no big surprise, really, that "The King's Speech" dominated the BAFTA awards Sunday night. It is, after all, the hometown film, even though audiences stateside have embraced it wholeheartedly as well. So it was a bit of a shock when David Fincher beat out Tom Hooper for best director over there on the "King's" turf. Fincher's "The Social Network" was the early Oscar favorite but saw its chances fade once "The King's Speech" started its drive. (The surprise win for Tom Hooper at last month's Directors Guild of America awards was a big spark in the turnaround.)
Is there now a possibility that "The Social Network" and "The King's Speech" could split the two big prizes on Oscar night, with Fincher walking away with best director while "The King's Speech" wins best picture? It's happened before, most recently in 2005 with "Crash" winning best picture and Ang Lee winning best director with "Brokeback Mountain," and again in 2002 when "Chicago" won best picture and Roman Polanski was awarded the best director statue for "The Pianist."
It could happen again, and anecdotally, I've heard motion picture academy members talking in such fashion. But how much influence do the BAFTA awards have on the Oscars? According to my colleague Tom O'Neil, there are about 500 British Academy of Film and Television Arts members who are also members of the 5,800-member American academy. And the two award shows' choices have matched up four times in the last decade when the BAFTAs moved their show up earlier than the Oscars.
It is significant, though, that the BAFTAs didn't go with one of their own Sunday evening, especially considering how Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter dominated the acting prizes. Rather, the British Academy chose Fincher for his job directing 20-somethings in their founding of Facebook. The BAFTAs also chose Aaron Sorkin, for adapted screenplay, a scenario we are likely to find repeated at the Oscars. "The Social Network" also won for editing, besting both "Inception" and "The King's Speech," a category many say you need to win to get best picture.
There are only two weeks to go till the big night and ballots are due a week from tomorrow. Most voters probably already have their minds made up.
-- Nicole Sperling
Most Oscar experts at The Envelope's Buzzmeter think "The King's Speech" will win best picture: Dave Karger (Entertainment Weekly), Susan King (L.A. Times), Mark Olsen (L.A. Times), Betsy Sharkey (L.A. Times), Anne Thompson (Indiewire) and me.
However, there are significant naysayers who still back early front-runner "The Social Network": Sasha Stone (Awards Daily), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), Jeffrey Wells (Hollywood-Elsewhere).
Curiously, they all predict "Social Network" helmer David Fincher will win best director even though he lost to Tom Hooper ("The King's Speech") at DGA.
Beyond best picture, the other category that invites most disagreement is best supporting actress. Everybody opts for Melissa Leo ("The Fighter") except three pundits who foresee an upset by Hailee Steinfeld ("True Grit") –- Karger, Thompson and Stone.
Visit the Buzzmeter here and remember to click through links to all the top categories.
-- Tom O'Neil
Things aren't looking too hot for "The Social Network." Considering the SAG ensemble award for "The King's Speech," Saturday night's director's prize for Tom Hooper, and the Producers Guild top prize last weekend, the momentum has changed in a big way toward the British drama about the stuttering king. The DGA award is particularly significant given that only six times in the award's 60-plus-year history has it differed with how the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted for best director.
The SAG Award, in particular, has likely derailed "Social Network's" cause since the largest branch in the academy is the actors, and if they went the way of "The King's Speech" for SAG, it's likely they'll go that way for Oscars too. (The ensemble award has matched the best picture Oscar seven times in the last 15 years.)
However, as the website In Contention points out, it is worth noting the last time the DGA and the academy differed. Back in 2002, the DGA chose then-42-year-old Rob Marshall for "Chicago." Marshall, a newbie to the feature world with only TV credits to his name at the time, did not maintain his momentum into the Oscars. While his film won best picture, the academy went a different route for director by choosing Roman Polanski for his work on "The Pianist."
Hooper, 38, is also a newcomer to the feature film world, with only television credits to his name. His work in "The King's Speech" is certainly award-worthy, but it will be interesting to see if there is a chance the academy chooses the veteran helmer, in this case David Fincher, the director behind "The Social Network" who has been nominated once before for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and has made eight films in his career.
Unfortunately, momentum is not on his side, and it doesn't help that the film about the founding of Facebook isn't winning any acting prizes either. (Jesse Eisenberg is the only actor from the film nominated for an Oscar in contrast to "The King's Speech," which has three acting noms.) "Social Network's" screenwriter Aaron Sorkin still has the best shot for the win in the adapted category, but the rest of his collaborators have shifted to underdog status quickly.
Photo: Actors Armie Hammer, left, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake and Jesse Eisenberg introduce a clip from "The Social Network" at the 17th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday. Credit: Reuters.
— Nicole Sperling
What a difference 12 Oscar nominations make. Online movie-ticket seller Fandango.com reported Wednesday that "The King's Speech" is now the top-selling movie on its website. The film's ticket sales have risen 76% since the noms were announced Tuesday morning. (The company compared the last 24 hours with last week's Tuesday to Wednesday period.)
"The King's Speech" opened eight weeks ago in limited theaters and is now in more than 1,680 theaters with $59 million to its name. The Tom Hooper-directed film did earn an additional $1 million Tuesday after the nominations were announced.
"True Grit," which landed 10 nominations, earned an additional $766,000 for the day -- a 6% increase. The Coen brothers' release has already grossed $139 million since it opened wide at the end of December, so it doesn't have as much uptick left in its release. In contrast, "The Social Network" took in $43,000 Tuesday in the 385 theaters where it's still playing. The film's total domestic gross stands at $95 million.
-- Nicole Sperling
Photo: Colin Firth, Tom Hooper and Geoffrey Rush, from left. Credit: Matt Sayles/Associated Press
It will be a star-studded affair Saturday night at the annual DGA award ceremony, with such luminaries as Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese on hand to honor this year's best directors. Also attending will be a slew of this year's Oscar nominees, including Colin Firth ("The King's Speech"), Jennifer Lawrence ("Winter's Bone"), Melissa Leo ("The Fighter") and Natalie Portman ("Black Swan").
Other directors on hand to recognize the DGA recipients are Michael Apted, Kathryn Bigelow, James Cameron, Francis Ford Coppola and DGA President Taylor Hackford. Carl Reiner will return as the host for the 63rd annual award show at which either Darren Aronofsky ("Black Swan"), David Fincher ("The Social Network"), Tom Hooper ("The King's Speech"), Christopher Nolan ("Inception") or David O. Russell ("The Fighter") will walk away with the top prize of the evening.
— Nicole Sperling
Photo: Martin Scorsese. Photo credit: Abbot Genser/HBO.