Jameson Empire Award Winners 2011

And a rundown of the show as it happened

Gary Oldman and Colin Firth at the Empire Awards

The winners at a glance:

Best Newcomer – Chloe Moretz (Kick-Ass)

Best Comedy – Four Lions

Best Actress presented by Citroën – Noomi Rapace (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)

Best Horror – The Last Exorcism

Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

Best Thriller – The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Best British Film presented by The Industry Trust – Kick-Ass

Empire Inspiration presented by HMV – Edgar Wright

Jameson Best Actor – Colin Firth (The King’s Speech)

Best Film presented by Kirin Ichiban – Inception

Best Director presented by Sony – Edgar Wright

Empire Hero presented by Jameson Irish Whiskey – Keira Knightley

Empire Icon – Gary Oldman

Done in 60 Seconds – 127 Hours by Maeve Stam

And here's a breakdown of what happened at this year's ceremony...

The tables chock full of Jameson's finest - all we need now is some guests to drink it all up,

Welcome To The Jameson Empire Awards
It's that time of year again: the Jameson Empire Awards are about to kick off in London's Grosvenor House Hotel, so crack open a bottle, sit back and enjoy as we bring you live coverage of the evening - as is traditional. We're going to have pictures and video following this blog, but if you really can't wait to learn who Empire readers voted for as their favourites of the year, this is the place to be. It's also the place to be if you want to see some of the biggest stars around, and/or a bunch of journalists looking atypically respectable in suits and dresses.

The Red Carpet Begins...
Arrivals are thoroughly underway now at the Empire Awards, with a mob already hitting the bar for Jameson cocktails (funniest title: 127 Sours) and a baying mob on the red carpet where Keira Knightley and Lily Cole are both strutting their extraordinarily attractive stuff. Shouldn't be allowed if you ask us; people that pretty just make everyone else feel bad.

Keira Knightley and Lily Cole at the 2011 Empire Awards
Keira Knightley and Lily Cole arrive for the Jameson Empire Award Winners 2011

It's On!
Like The Rock, the celebrities are Bringing It on the red carpet now. Chris O'Dowd is here, Will Poulter, and Sam Claflin (who's looking extraordinarily dapper despite wearing a jacket your grandad would be proud of). The Inbetweeners are here, causing funny levels to surge considerably. And the bar is rammed already, but that's just the Empire staff. Innovations at this year's awards include a "gift suite" for winners and presenters, where they get given free stuff just for being gorgeous and talented. The genetically-blessed, hard-working bastards...

Can you guess who's just arrived on the red carpet? No, it's not Empire's Chris Hewitt...

Ballroom Begins
Suddenly the ballroom is full of people, and they're all insanely good-looking and/or glamorous. That said, they are all also taking this time to paw eagerly through their goodie bags, so they are human after all. Thor's Tom Hiddleston is here - I can see the light bouncing off his cheekbones from across the room - and Eli Roth has arrived, sadly without a chainsaw or obvious hatchet. Meanwhile, our Olly has already fallen a little bit in love with Jessica Hynes, and I'm wondering if there's time to nip down and steal one of the nibbles trays before the tables all fill up. Hmm, probably not at the speed I can move in these shoes.

Jonathan Ross and Jane Goldman have arrived, which is always nice because they're the one celebrity couple you can be sure of spotting wherever they are in the room, what with his height and her awesome red hair. We just saw Chris O'Dowd adjusting his pocket square, instantly landing him the Dapperest Dressed award. Wait, no, just got another look at Sam Claflin's jacket, and he also has a pocket square. Oh it is sartorially on! And despite getting roasted by the host for his role in 2012 last year, Jimi Mistry's back back back - which is nice, as he's always the life of the party.

The Show Must Get On With It**
The guests are still trickling in (darn that bar and its siren call) but the show's about to get started any time now. Honest guv. The Voice of God has just boomed out an announcement that everyone should sit down so we can get started. And it certainly looks like a full house: lovely, lovely Mark Strong is here, and Edgar Wright and Anna Kendrick, and I've just learned that Tom Felton uses "sweetie" and "lovie" more than anyone else in the room. He's probably just compensating for playing such a twerp onscreen.

Dara O Briain backstage at the Empire Awards
The host Dara O Briain crams in a little last minute prep...

The Jameson Empire Awards 2011
Cue the clip reel of the last year. Aren't movies wonderful? Of course they are, This particular reel includes clips from Chris' videblogisodes, and even the Floating Head of Mark Strong sequence - which is weird, since the grounded head of Mark Strong is actually in the room. And here's our host, Dara O Briain once again!

"Good to have you here. The beautifully timed Empire Awards, since if it had been 24 hours earlier we'd all have been hijacked by anarchists and kettled by the police. But it's a historical night, because it's census night, which means that your grandchildren will wonder why you used to live at the Grovsenor House Hotel. With Keira Knightley. These are the Empire Awards, the asterisk beside the Oscar. If you don't win them both, it doesn't count. These are the films people love. A film in which a nerd using technology can invade your brain. An a film in which a nerd invents something in his college. A film where a nerd pretends he's in a video game. A film where a nerd sends off for a wetsuit and pretends to be a superhero. And a film about a stutterer. I mean, I am a nerd, but you people are actually cool and you're pretending to be nerds! This is an industry that sustains a career for both Michael Cera AND Jesse Eisenberg and they're the SAME PERSON.

"But I love these films. The King's Speech was great. I'm inspired by any country that would go to war on the basis that a man can read out something written on a piece of paper really, really slowly. Hitler was halfway to Paris by the time he finished. Colin Firth is in the room tonight, which begs the question, why would you come to another awards ceremony when you've already won the Oscar? The balls on Colin Firth, to turn up to another ceremony and risk losing to Jesse Eisenberg - or Michael Cera, who can tell?

"If I can offer one piece of advice that has nothing to do with the awards but everything to do with you being a young, goodlooking crowd: stop using the word "dirty" in a sexual context before you have kids. I'm not judging you, we've all done it. But it will bite you when you use it to tell your child, "Don't do that, it's dirty, you're a dirty girl." Dirty or naughty or "do what daddy tells you" - there's a way in which they're meant to be used. This is nothing to do with the awards, but it's worth saying.

"Two years ago, Russell Crowe came in and turned around and left. The greatest line I never said, as he left, was, "Ladies and gentlemen, Russell Crowe" and as he closes the door say, "who couldn't be here tonight." But this is going to be a fantastic night: it's the Empire Awards 2011!"

Best Newcomer
Presenting this we have the cast of The Inbetweeners: Simon Bird, Blake Harrison and Joe Thomas. "It's in a way quite inappropriate to be here in the presence of actual movie stars. We just made a film, wbhich in a way reflects quite badly on the film industry..."

AND THE WINNER IS...Chloe Moretz!
(Clearly a popular winner for both Kick-Ass and Let Me In)

Dexter Fletcher: I am not Chloe Moretz, so you just have to imagine that I'm a 14 year old lady. She asked me to read this: "I'd like to thank Matthew Vaughn, the producers, and everyone at Empire for embracing our film and welcoming Hit-Girl. Thank you again from Chloe."

Dara: "She presented this award last year; she won it this year but couldn't be bothered to turn up!"

Best Comed**y**
Dermot O'Leary is presenting this one as only he can. "I presented these awards 10 years ago. Vinnie Jones won Best Actor and I was a bit shit." Guess he's improved his presenting skills since. Let's hope that he doesn't keep us all hanging for the results though, X-Factor style....


"My kids are going to be so pissed off that we beat Buzz and Woody. Thank you Empire, for putting us in a different category from The King's Speech. About 5 minutes ago I got a text from Chris Morris, the genius behind the film: "Still in Fortnum and Masons; is it safe to come out?" This was the hardest film I've ever produced and put together. A week after the banks collapsed, we were trying to put together a comedy about suicide bombers. But thank you Film Four, and Empire. Thanks!"

Best Actress
Noel Clarke - man's man, lady's man, man about town - is presenting this one and looking sharp doing it. He's wearing sunglasses, despite ambient light levels approximating those of a dark room.

AND THE WINNER IS...Noomi Rapace
(in an amazing short, scoop-back dress. That's a definite win.)

"Thank you so much. This is a great honour. Thank you all the readers of Empire. It's amazing how people all over the world have embraced our movie. I want to take the opportunity to thank one of my heroes and one of the greatest actors in the world, Mr Gary OIdman (for he's here!). I'm just inspired and amazed by his work; he's done so much for me, so thank you." ("Talented, beautiful, and delivering an eloquent speech in her second language while wearing seven inch heels!" notes O Briain)

Best Actress winner, Noopi Repace
"Talented, beautiful, and delivering an eloquent speech in her second language while wearing seven inch heels!"

Best Horror
Steel yourselves: it's coming to the scary bit. Heck, even the clip reel is disturbing. Thankfully Sarah Harding is here to shepherd us through.

AND THE WINNER IS...The Last Exorcism
(Producer Eli Roth is here to collect the gong. Or rather, big perspex block)

"I absolutely share this award with my fellow producers and our great director Daniel Stahm. And by share, I mean he can come over once a month and look at it. Thanks to Empire, it's been incredible to me as a director and now as a producer, and to the fans who have embraced the film, and me, as you'll see in some photos in tomorrow's Daily Mail. Thank you, and I'll continue making disturbing films."

Best Sci-Fi / Fantasy
Lily Cole is presenting this one, which is appropriate since she has form in the genre (in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus) and because she looks like some sort of magical fairy / particularly attractive alien hybrid, so she pretty much embodies both genres.

AND THE WINNER IS... Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, Part One
(Tom "Draco Malfoy" Felton is here to collect this one)

"A huge thank you to all the Empire readers and the fans for a decade of support; we wouldn't be here without you. You must excuse the absence of David Yates; he'd love to be here but he's putting the finishing touches on our epic finale, which is why I'm here. So thanks again, and have a great evening." And expelliarmus! OK, he didn't actually add that.

O Briain adds, "They were going to keep going with Potter and follow him to university, but who can afford £9k per year?"

Tom Felton collectting the award for the Best Sc-Fi / Fantasy winner,
Tom Felton collectting the award for the Best Sc-Fi / Fantasy winner, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, Part One

The Jameson Empire Done In Sixty Seconds Award
Neil Marshall and Chris O'Dowd are presenting this one, as the jury members who decided on the winner.

O'Dowd: "We're an unlikely pair; the only thing we have in common is that we both turned down the lead role in Black Swans. But no regrets! I don't wax my balls for any man!" But, er, on to the nominees, which are all inspired this year.

(wherein a man accidentally staples his finger to the desk. Well, it was a lower budget effort)

"I'm really nervous, but really happy. I have to thank the actors - they couldn't make it cause they're on tour. And the set dressers, and editors, and my mom, and god, and James Franco, you owe me!"

We get to watch the full thing on the big screen, which reveals that why it isn't quite as cute as the dog playing Indiana Jones, it's probably even funnier.

Best Thriller
Tom Hiddleston and Joanne Frogatt are presenting this one, as two of the best up-and-comers around today.

AND THE WINNER IS...The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
(Producer Soren Staermose and Noomi Rapace accept the award)

Staermose: "OK, thank you very much to the readers of Empire. It's very impressing for us to get this award against big UK and US movies. I think this is a homage to Stieg Larsson the writer and his universe! In the 80s and 90s and even in the 70s he called himself a feminist and that was quite unusual at that time, even in Sweden. And now we are all feminists! I think we have to thank our director who is now working in the US, who made so many right decisions. And of course our demonic, electric lady here! I'm not so happy because you picked her and she doesn't live in Sweden anymore! And- wait, do you want to say something? But you've been up here before. I want to thank the production company, and our friends at Momentum Pictures. I like to win! It's really nice - see you at the party! (Most excited speech of the night so far)

Empire Inspiration
Jessica Hynes is presenting this one, with Jonathan Ross. Any idea who's winning? I could tell you, but that'd spoil the tension for a few lines from now.

Ross: "We were both asked here at the last minute."

Hynes: "Literally three seconds ago.

Ross: "We love the Empire awards, don't we? I want to say how much I love these awards, because they're the sort of films that not only do I see and enjoy but I know that other people will see and enjoy them, unlike some awards where they give out awards to films they think they should like. I have to watch some films set on miserable motherfucking council estates involving non-consensual blowjobs."

Hynes: "I'm going to keep it brief. Jonathan has said some interesting and personal things, very personal things, but the important thing that a lot of people don't know about this guy is that he does have an enormous cock. I've never seen it. Yes I have. No I haven't.

Ross: I watch a lot of first-time directors and every so often one comes along who knocks it out of the park. It's right there in his DNA - every one of his films is uniquely, unmistakeably his. He pulls it off every time; he is a remarkable talent.

Hynes: No one has ever made me feel like Bruce Lee like he did.

Ross: Let's look at the clips...

Hang on, these are all clips from Edgar Wright films. The winner must be EDGAR WRIGHT.

Wright: "Even if it was last minute, I'm very pleased that these people introduced me, because Jessica I've worked with many times and Jonathan I've come dressed as tonight. Thank you very much. I'm 36 years old, so I don't think I qualify as an inspiration. Jonathan actually was an inspiration to me. Actually, what is an inspiration to me was that my first film got one star in Empire, it was not Shaun of the Dead, and my fourth film got five stars. If it goes the other way in the next few films, I'll give this back. But I've collected Empire since issue 2 - I don't know what happened with issue one, maybe I was skint or maybe there was a Sky magazine with Sherilynn Fenn on the cover. But in the last couple of years I've been sent a bunch of short films and amateur films and Done In Sixty Seconds type things based on my films, and if I inspire that I'm very pleased. So thanks to Empire, and its readers, and everybody else I've worked with. Thank you, and bye bye."

An inspiration to us all, Edgar Wright
An inspiration to us all, Edgar Wright

Best British Film
Fine old British traditions like "queueing" and "teen pregnancy" can be combined with great British films and done at the cinema, O Briain tells us. But here's Adrian Lester and Talulah Riley to present this one and tell us about the Prince's Foundation for Children and the Arts, which ensures that there will be access to the arts even for children in deprived areas of the country. Lester's at table 32 and will be accepting cash and cheques for the charity; but now, on to the Best British Film!

(Jane Goldman, Mark Strong, Dexter Fletcher and David Reid all head up to collect)

Goldman: Thanks to the readers of Empire; I'm going to hand over to David Reid because apparently last time I was here I muttered. But what amazing nominees; I can't believe we won; thank you very much!

Reid: (producer) Like many others, Mr Vaughn can't be here tonight as he's in LA finishing X-Men. He called me last night to tell me to be brief and not to have more than 3 glasses of wine. So I'll try to be brief anyway. So I want to thank Empire, and the cast and crew, who were amazing coming with us on this brave and bold journey. They all gave skill and dedication beyond the call of duty, especially Mark who had to push certain role boundaries. So thank you for this honour, it's a film we're all very proud of."

Best Film
It's the big one: Best Film. Can Kick-Ass kick Inception's butt? Can The Social Network poke Scott Pilgrim out of competition? Will The King's Speech finally complete its clean sweep of every awards show ever?

(He can't be here, but here's what Christopher Nolan had to say in his taped acceptance speech)

"Thank you very much for this great honour. I'm sorry I can't be there in person but we're prepping The Dark Knight Rises. I'd like to thank all the readers of Empire for voting for our film, and Empire itself for really backing the film. So thanks very much, readers of Empire!"

Best Director
Reece Shearsmith falls up the stairs to present this one. "Deliberate!" Way to style it out, dude. "I was going to present this with Mark Gatiss but he's not here, he's writing Sherlock, which he's promised me a part in."

AND THE WINNER IS...Edgar Wright
(It's a two-fer!)

"Aw, thank you very much. I literally just sat down again. I don't know what to say. Amazing, ridiculous to be in the company of the other directors. I'm genuinely speechless, thank you very much."

Best Actor
The very lovely Olivia Williams is presenting this one, and appears to be dressed as an award herself in an amazingly sparkly gold dress. It's competing with Noomi Rapace's fantastically sparkly silver skyscraper heels for most festive look of the night. But, ahem, back to the award.

(Of course! Completing his clean sweep of every award ever and looking good doing it in a black shirt that, sadly, shows no signs of being soaked)

"Just when I thought it was over. I've always known that when I open Empire magazine I'd find a witty and thoughtful view of what's going on in this business, and in this room here you all are. I was going to thank my friends at the King's Speech table, but apparently there is no King's Speech table so to hell with them. But I'm with my new friends at the Tinker, Tailor table, which I haven't seen yet but I'm sure it will be a masterpiece. And another thing I'm sure is the next big thing is Aaron Johnson; I'm sure we're going to see a lot more of him. But thank you very much!"

Empire Hero Award
James McAvoy is presenting this one, and beaming the speech straight into our brains, Professor X-style.

"I'm generally quite cocky and up myself when I'm presenting these things, but I'm not going to be this time. The recipient of this award is, in my opinion, an exceptional example of this country's movie stars. A movie star is exceptionally talented, check. A movie star is beautiful, check. A movie star is, at least sometimes, a fashion icon: check. A movie star seeks out interesting work and doesn't just take the big stuff she's offered every day: check. She's a West Ham fan and in my personal experience a hilariously down-to-Earth human being. All the time, I think, she's all these things triumphantly. I'm proud to have worked with her, and known her, but enough wittering on; let's look at the clips.

AND THE WINNER IS... Keira Knightley

"Thank you so much, I'm very embarrassed, that was such a lovely speech. It was my birthday yesterday, so I want to thank Empire for such a brilliant birthday present; to be made a hero on your 26th birthday is fantastic. I want to thank my agent, who's here tonight. Also, I'm well up for a birthday snog, so please come and find me on table 14! Thank you!"
(Wow, I have NEVER seen a line form that fast. Most of the room appears to be doing a very slow conga that ends at table 14. Knightley is going to have her work cut out.)

James McAvoy and Empire Hero winner, Keira Knightley
James McAvoy with Empire Hero winner, Keira Knightley

Empire Icon

Yes, these are just awards for people we want to give awards to. And Colin Firth is back to present this one.

Firth: "You can take the winner of this award, take his work, chop it into little pieces and spin it in a barrel and it would be a clip reel to envy. I've been editing mine for years and it's still not fit for public viewing. I've admired his work for three decades now. Making Tinker, Tailor was like watching close-up magic. He's a leading man, a character actor, a comedian, a serious actor, humble actor and astronaut - he's not an astronaut, but I note that most of you didn't question it. He's the son of a welder, had a tough upbringing in London's New Cross - an upbringing portrayed in his so-far sole directing effort, Nil By Mouth. In terms of sheer versatility, how many actors can boast Dracula, Lee Harvey Oswald, Beethoven and The One With Chandler and Monica's Wedding on their resume? Nothing about him is predictable, except that he is a true gentleman and a true friend. Keep an eye out for the final clip for your first view of our Empire Icon as George Smiley in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy."

(Cue standing ovation as he makes his way to the stage)

Oldman: "Well this is very special, made all the more so receiving it from the hands of Mr Firth. We have just worked together, and not only is he a tremendous actor to work with, but an absolutely wonderful, blinding, darling bloke. Do you have one of these? Well, it's the only one you don't have. I look at that montage, and I think about all the directors that have cast me in these iconic roles over 30 years. Alex Cox for Sid and Nancy, who got the ball rolling. There's Coppola, Stone, Cuaron, Nolan, the Scott Brothers, and more recently Colin and I have had the good fortune to work with the great Tomas Alfredsen. It's a luminous list, and I acknowledge them and thank them, because they cast me and allowed me to have a long career, and to win one of these. I can't tell you how nice it feels to have your work honoured. I want to thank Jameson and Empire and the readers and the fans, and Ian Nathan for your generosity. You treat me like a prince. I am chuffed, I am very proud of this. And also, thank you Noomi: the Swedes have always had great taste!"

Our very own Icon and Best Actor, Gary Oldman and Colin FirthOur very own Icon and Best Actor, Gary Oldman and Colin Firth

That's It!

O Briain's here to mop up. "Oh, to be able to call him Coppola: I have to call him Frank. Thank you all very much, and good night!" That's it! Our winners are being served dinner in the ballroom, mingling and clapping each other on the back in that ancient tradition that somehow suggests they'd rather be stabbing each other, on some level. Meanwhile, myself and the rest of the staff will slope off to find where they've put our dry bread and water, and see how much of the sponsor's booze we can account for. After all, we wouldn't want to turn up at the after-party sober, would we?

Oh, And One More Thing...
For full coverage including more photos and video than you can shake a stick at - head over to our Jameson Empire Awards 2011 microsite.

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