'King's Speech' helmer beats Fincher in competitive category

Director Tom Hooper has won the Best Director Oscar for “The King’s Speech,” capping an impressive award-season run for the British helmer.

The directors race had been the most difficult to call, with many Oscar watchers expecting David Fincher to come out on top for “The Social Network.” Hooper also topped Darren Aronofsky for “Black Swan,” Joel and Ethan Coen for “True Grit” and David O. Russell for “The Fighter.”

“This is an extraordinary honor,” Hooper said and then thanked stars Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter, writer David Seidler and the producers. He also credited his mother, who brought the story of “The King’s Speech” to his attention in 2007 after she attended a reading of David Seidler’s story.

“So the moral of the story is to listen to yiour mother,” he said.

Hooper’s win for the Directors Guild of America had given a fresh twist to the Oscar race after the unbroken winning streak for Sony’s “The Social Network.” The DGA has an excellent record at predicting which director will win the Academy Award, with only six differences since 1948.

However, Fincher’s win at the Baftas earlier this month injected a large note of uncertainty into the race.

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