‘The King’s Speech’ Sweeps The BAFTAs, Christopher Lee and ‘Harry Potter’ Receive Achievement Awards

To the surprise of few, “The King’s Speech” came out of Sunday night’s BAFTA awards show with seven of its 16 eligible awards in hand, including Best Film, Outstanding British Film, Original Screenplay, Leading Actor, Supporting Actor and Actress and Original Music.

These big wins certainly shorten the gap between “The King’s Speech” and “The Social Network” for the Best Picture race as we head toward the Oscars. Though “The Social Network” originally struck many as the favorite — and it did land a few big awards at the BAFTAs, including Best Director, Adapted Screenplay and Editing — “The King’s Speech” has picked up speed in recent weeks, with the string of BAFTA wins only furthering its momentum.

For those of you still upset about the slights at “Inception” for Oscar nominations you’ll be happy to know that Tom Hardy was awarded the Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award. It’s an obvious recognition of the talent he displayed in “Inception” last year, and the film was also awarded for Production Design, Sound and Special Visual Effects.

Rounding out the big awards, Natalie Portman was once again recognized for her “Black Swan” performance by winning the Best Actress award. Chris Morris was given the award for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer thanks to his film “Four Lions.” “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” was the best Film Not In The English Language, and unsurprisingly “Toy Story 3” was named best Animated Film. “True Grit” and Roger Deakins nabbed the award for Cinematography, while “Alice in Wonderland” got two awards for Costume Design and Make Up & Hair.

There were two other big awards given out last night, as well: first, the Academy Fellowship in 2011 to Sir Christopher Lee, which was presented to him by Tim Burton.

“Wise and generous members of the committee, my fellow thespians, many of whom are involved in this [the award], I thank you all. This is a truly great honor, a great, great honor. Two things, really, make it so: The fact that this was voted to me by my peers; and secondly, that I received it from one of the great directors of our age.” he said in his acceptance speech.

Of course, “Harry Potter” fans earned a long-awaited victory as the fantasy series won the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema award. Stephen Fry, who voiced the “Potter” audiobooks, presented the award to J.K. Rowling, producers David Heyman and David Barron, directors Alfonso Cuaron, Mike Newell and David Yates, and stars Emma Watson and Rupert Grint.

“It is very strange to look back after seven films and remember how wary I was of letting anybody put Harry on the big screen, and I kept saying no. And it was David Heyman who persuaded me and he has been there from start to finish,” Rowling said. “So tonight, I really need to say publicly how right I was to trust him, how much I owe him, how grateful I am to him, and to say that being involved in these films has been one of the best experiences of my life, and particularly being involved with these wonderful people standing behind me.”

Did any of these awards come as a surprise to you? Are you glad Christopher Lee and “Harry Potter” were recognized last night? Tell us what you think in the comments section and on Twitter!