With less than four days to go until Hollywood’s main event, our Oscar thoughts are zeroed in on this year’s lucky nominees and potential winners. With all the hullabaloo surrounding this year’s awards season, it’s easy to forget about the shining stars who took home Oscar gold last year.
Here’s a look at what 2011′s Oscar darlings are up to now:
After taking home the Best Actor award for his memorable performance in “The King’s Speech,” Firth has kept himself very busy with a role in the critically acclaimed and Oscar-nominated ensemble spy drama “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” and has a slew of projects lined up for release in 2012 and beyond: the Coen brothers-scripted “Gambit,” co-starring Alan Rickman and Cameron Diaz; “Arthur Newman, Golf Pro,” with Emily Blunt and Anne Heche; West Memphis Three-based thriller “The Devil’s Knot” with Reese Witherspoon; and the next installment in the Bridget Jones franchise, “Bridget Jones’ Baby.”
Portman has followed up her Best Actress win for her chilling, unforgettable performance in “Black Swan” with a very different, but far more weighty role: motherhood. Portman and her dancer/choreographer fiancé, Benjamin Millepied, whom she met during the filming of “Swan,” welcomed son Aleph in June. Portman has kept out of the public eye since giving birth, but she did make an appearance with Millepied at the Golden Globe Awards. Portman’s next gig is Terrence Malick’s film “Lawless” alongside Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara and fellow 2011 Oscar-winner Christian Bale.
Last year’s Best Supporting Actor is certainly not hurting for work. Bale will reprise his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman in Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated and likely final Batman film, “The Dark Knight Rises,” followed by back-to-back films with Oscar nominee Terrence Malick in “Lawless” and “Knight of Cups.”
Leo has followed up her Best Supporting Actress win for “The Fighter” with a full slate of upcoming films. The seasoned Hollywood veteran will appear in “Predisposed” with Jesse Eisenberg and Tracy Morgan; Robert Zemeckis’ return to live action, “Flight,” with Denzel Washington and John Goodman; “Something in the Water”; and “Prairie Bones.” She will also lend her voice-acting talents to the animated film “Dwegons.”
Last year’s Best Director winner is certainly not sitting on his laurels. Of all of last year’s winners mentioned here, Hooper might be tackling the most challenging post-Oscar-win project of them all. “The King’s Speech” helmer has chosen to take on a big-screen adaptation of one of literature’s most classic and beloved stories of all time, Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables.” Did we mention it’s a musical? It is. Hooper certainly has the credibility to deliver a faithful adaptation. Not only that, but he’s assembled a very capable cast that includes Hugh Jackman, Amanda Seyfried, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Russell Crowe and Sacha Baron Cohen.
The MTV Movies team has the 2012 Oscars covered! Stick with us for everything you need to know leading up to the awards show, and on Sunday, February 26, tune into MTV.com at 5 p.m. ET for our two-and-a-half-hour red-carpet live stream and updates on the night’s big winners. To join the live conversation, tweet @MTVNews with the hashtag #Oscars.