In the end the comeback kid was edged out by the King.
'The Fighter', the movie about boxer' Irish' Mickey Ward, took an early points lead on 'The King's Speech' when it took Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress.
The Best Supporting Actress award went to Melissa Leo who played Mickey's mother and seemed overwhelmed by the award while Christian Bale won Best Supporting Actor and seemed to forget his wife's name momentarily.
The Oscar wins were surprises for a movie that was barely mentioned in the fight off between 'The King's Speech' and 'The Social Network' for King of the Oscars this year.
Both those movies were about power and pomp, the story of a king who stuttered and a young genius who invented Facebook and made billions.
In contrast the boxing career of working class hero Mickey Ward and his relationship with his dysfunctional family hardly made for Oscar bait.
But like its plucky subject, who overcame adversity at every turn to become one of America's most memorable fighters, 'The Fighter' defied expectations and the critics and took two major Oscar awards.
It lost on points to 'The Kings Speech' in the overall Oscar race, but back in Lowell, the working class suburb of Boston they have reason to be proud again of their fighting son.
It also marked a remarkable third time in recent that Oscars have flowed to gritty New England Irish dramas, 'Mystic River,'' The Departed' and now 'The Fighter' all prove how enduring a theme working class Irish in Boston and its suburbs are.
Throw in' The Town' another hit movie on the same theme this year and you have a fascinating quartet of movies.
A full list of winners at the 2011 Academy Awards:
BEST PICTURE: 'The King's Speech'
BEST ACTOR: Colin Firth - 'The King's Speech'
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Melissa Leo - 'The Fighter'
BEST ACTRESS: Natalie Portman - 'Black Swan'
BEST DIRECTOR: Tom Hooper - 'The King's Speech'
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Christian Bale - 'The Fighter'
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Aaron Sorkin - 'The Social Network'
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: David Seidler - 'The King's Speech'
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Wally Pfister - 'Inception'
BEST FILM EDITING: Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter - 'The Social Network'
DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILM: 'Strangers No More'
SHORT FILM: Luke Matheny - 'God Of Love'
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: 'Inside Job'
BEST MAKE-UP: 'The Wolfman'
BEST ORIGINAL SONG: 'We Belong Together' - 'Toy Story 3'
BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM: 'The Lost Thing'
BEST ANIMATED FILM: 'Toy Story 3'
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross - 'The Social Network'
SOUND MIXING: Gary A Rizzo & Ed Novick - 'Inception'
SOUND EDITING: Richard King - 'Inception'
VISUAL EFFECTS Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips - 'Alice in Wonderland'
COSTUME DESIGN Colleen Atwood - 'Alice in Wonderland'
ART DIRECTION Robert Stromberg (production design); Karen O'Hara (set decoration) - 'Alice in Wonderland'
FOREIGN FILM 'In a Better World' (Denmark)