British press celebrates Oscar success

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Calls mounted Tuesday for the queen to honour British Oscar-winning actor Colin Firth, a day after he was feted by Hollywood royalty for his portrayal of her stammering father in "The King's Speech".

"What a knight," splashed the tabloid Mirror's editorial headline.

"Peerless Colin Firth gave a modest King's Speech as he accepted his Oscar on a great night for Britain.

"Surely it can't be long before we hear Her Majesty utter the words 'Arise Sir Colin'," the paper predicted.

Fellow tabloid the Sun led with the headline "Royal flush" on its editorial.

"F-f-flipping brilliant!" it continued. "Britain's night of Oscar triumphs was pure gold."

Kate Muir, writing in The Times, suggested the film benefited from Hollywood becoming caught in the "perfect storm of Englishness."

"The great performances from Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter were obviously central, but there was also the behind-the-scenes machine being oiled by the old Hollywood hand and distributor Harvey Weinstein," Muir wrote.

"To that, add the fact that the 6,000-strong Academy's largest voting group consists of actors, who voted for the most thespian entry. The perfect storm of Englishness and royalty was complete."

The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw celebrated the triumphant film for not adhering to the usual Tinseltown rules.

"When my mother told me my 80-something aunt had gone to the cinema, on her own, to see 'The King's Speech', I realised how successful it has been in harnessing the awesome strength of the grey pound," he said.

"People who haven't gone to the cinema in 10 or 20 years are going to see 'The King's Speech'. Older people are generally ignored or patronised in the movies: so this film's mighty triumph is a modest assertion of their existence," he added.

The Telegraph's Toby Young reserved most of his passion for tearing apart the "snooze-a-thon" ceremony.

"The 83rd Academy Awards were mercifully short, clocking in at a mere three hours and 19 minutes, but in virtually every other respect this year was a new low," said Young.

"As for the hosts, don't get me started. James Franco and Anne Hathaway actually made me feel nostalgic for Billy Crystal, something I didn't think was possible."

Meanwhile, ex-pat footballer David Beckham used his Twitter account to display his pride.

"What a great night for the Brits at the Oscars," the England midfielder tweeted. "Well done to Colin, good speech. Congratulations to everyone who worked on 'The King's Speech'. Proud night."

© 2011 AFP

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