x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

A royal flush for The King's Speech

After winning seven Bafta awards, will The King's Speech now be an unstoppable force at The Oscars?

In case you haven't heard, there's a film called The King's Speech, which is rather good and heavily tipped for success at the all-important Hollywood back-slapping ceremony, the Oscars.

Now, the Academy Awards may be two weeks away, which is two long weeks of hyperactive speculation about who will win and what they'll wear to win it, but the film has set itself on a steady road to glory by picking up seven awards - including Best Film - on Sunday night at the Oscars' rainier British cousin, the Baftas. But does this mean that Colin Firth's stuttering king will sweep the honours in California?

It certainly helps. About 500 Bafta (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) members are also in the 5,800-member Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, and bar a sudden blow to the head are unlikely to change their votes.

Bafta shocked pundits last year by handing Best Picture to The Hurt Locker, which then went on to claim glory over Avatar in the Oscars. It also predicted the upsets by Marion Cotillard for La Vie en Rose and Tilda Swinton in Michael Clayton. However, the Baftas do love a good royal tale, flinging gongs to almost anything with "King" or "Queen" in the title over the past decade.

In the end, do any of the statistics or predictions really matter? "I have developed a wonderful obliviousness to people quoting odds at me," Firth said on the night. Well, you would say that if you were favourite.