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‘12 Years a Slave’ Takes Best Picture

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‘12 Years a Slave’ Takes Best Picture
Photo Source: Courtesy of Ellen DeGeneres/Twitter

Steve McQueen was right when he said in a Backstage interview “people are sort of more receptive to challenging narratives than people think.”

On Sunday night, McQueen became the first black director to take home the highest honor of the night: the best picture statuette for his heart-rending “12 Years a Slave,” the true story about Solomon Northup, a free man living in New York who was kidnapped and auctioned into slavery. The depictions of whippings and rape were deemed too intense for audiences by some critics, who were proved very wrong after last night’s awards.

“It doesn't escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else’s,” said Lupita Nyong'o while accepting her award for best supporting actress for her role of Patsey in “12 Years.” The film was also tapped for best adapted screenplay; John Ridley accepted the award and praised Northup for his story and his words.

The awards had the space thriller “Gravity” walk away with a total of seven Oscars, including the first directing nod for a Mexican-born filmmaker (Alfonso Cuarón), best cinematography, best sound editing, and best original score.

Lead actor was nabbed by the ever-gentlemanly Matthew McConaughey, bringing the #McConaissance full circle and feeding the frenzy surrounding what has become his signature phrase of sorts, throwing in an “alright, alright, alright” at the very end of his speech. The actor won for his portrayal of a cowboy in “Dallas Buyers Club” who helped AIDS patients obtain needed medication after being diagnosed with the disease himself.

“Every day, every week, every month and every year of my life my hero is always 10 years away,” McConaughey said about continuing to look forward as an actor. “I'm never going to be my hero…that's just fine with me because that keeps me with somebody to keep on chasing.”

McConaughey’s co-star Jared Leto took the award for best supporting actor for his role as Rayon in “Dallas Buyers.” The actor—who left Hollywood to be a rock star and hadn’t been on screen for five years—thanked his mother and brother before mentioning “the dreamers” caught in political uprisings in Venezuela and the Ukraine. “We’re thinking of you tonight,” he said. He dedicated his win to the “36 million people who have lost the battle to AIDS.”

Cate Blanchett won for best lead actress for her performance in Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine.” “This has been yet another year of extraordinary performances by women,” she said, before going on to comment on each of her co-nominees’ performances. “Those of us in the industry who are still foolishly clinging to the idea that female films with women at the center are niche experiences—they are not; audiences want to see them and in fact, they earn money. The world is round, people.”

Other highlights of the evening included Ellen DeGeneres handing out slices of pizza and taking selfies with stars.

Some upsets of the evening included Leonardo DiCaprio, "Inside Llewyn Davis," and “Captain Phillips” leaving empty handed, although a film in which DiCaprio starred (“The Great Gatsby”) won awards for costume design and production.

The full list of nominees and winners is below:

Best Picture
"American Hustle"
"Captain Phillips"
"Dallas Buyers Club"
"Gravity"
"Her"
"Nebraska"
"Philomena"
"12 Years a Slave" - WINNER
"The Wolf of Wall Street" 

Best Director
David O. Russell, "American Hustle"
Alfonso Cuarón, "Gravity" - WINNER
Alexander Payne, "Nebraska"
Steve McQueen, "12 Years a Slave"
Martin Scorsese, "The Wolf of Wall Street"

Best Actor
Christian Bale, "American Hustle"
Bruce Dern, "Nebraska"
Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Wolf of Wall Street"
Chiwetel Ejiofor, "12 Years a Slave"
Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyers Club" - WINNER

Best Actress
Amy Adams, "American Hustle"
Cate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine" - WINNER
Sandra Bullock, "Gravity”
Judi Dench, "Philomena"
Meryl Streep, "August: Osage County"

Best Supporting Actor
Barkhad Abdi, "Captain Phillips"
Bradley Cooper, "American Hustle"
Michael Fassbender, "12 Years a Slave"
Jonah Hill, "Wolf of Wall Street"
Jared Leto, "Dallas Buyers Club" - WINNER

Best Supporting Actress
Sally Hawkins, "Blue Jasmine"
Jennifer Lawrence, "American Hustle"
Lupita Nyong'o, "12 Years a Slave" - WINNER
Julia Roberts, "August: Osage County"
June Squibb, "Nebraska"

Best Adapted Screenplay
"Before Midnight"
"Captain Phillips"
"Philomena"
"12 Years a Slave" - WINNER
"The Wolf of Wall Street"

Best Original Screenplay
"American Hustle"
"Blue Jasmine"
"Dallas Buyers Club"
"Her" - WINNER
"Nebraska"

Best Cinematography
"The Grandmaster"
"Gravity" - WINNER
"Inside Llewyn Davis"
"Nebraska"
"Prisoners"

Best Costume Design
"American Hustle"
"The Grandmaster"
"The Great Gatsby" - WINNER
"The Invisible Woman"
"12 Years a Slave"

Best Film Editing
"American Hustle"
"Captain Phillips"
"Dallas Buyers Club"
"Gravity" - WINNER
"12 Years a Slave"

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
"Dallas Buyers Club" - WINNER

"Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa"
"The Lone Ranger"

Best Music (Original Score)
"The Book Thief"
"Gravity" - WINNER
"Her"
"Philomena"
"Saving Mr. Banks"

Best Music (Original Song)
"Happy" from "Despicable Me 2"
"Let it Go" from "Frozen" - WINNER
"The Moon Song" from "Her"
"Ordinary Love" from "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom"

Best Production Design
"American Hustle"
"Gravity"
"The Great Gatsby" - WINNER
"Her"
"12 Years a Slave"

Best Sound Editing
"All is Lost"
"Captain Phillips"
"Gravity" - WINNER
"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug"
"Lone Survivor"

Best Sound Mixing
"Captain Phillips"
"Gravity" - WINNER
"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug"
"Inside Llewyn Davis"
"Lone Survivor"

Best Visual Effects
"Gravity" - WINNER

"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug"
"Iron Man 3"
"The Lone Ranger"
"Star Trek: Into Darkness"

Best Foreign Language Film
"The Broken Circle Breakdown" (Belgium)
"The Hunt" (Denmark)
"The Great Beauty" (Italy) - WINNER
"The Missing Picture" (Cambodia)
"Omar" (Palestine)

Best Animated Feature Film
"The Croods"
"Despicable Me 2"
"Ernest and Celestine"
"Frozen" - WINNER
"The Wind Rises"

Best Documentary Feature
"The Act of Killing"
"Cutie and the Boxer"
"Dirty Wars"
"The Square"
"20 Feet From Stardom" - WINNER

Best Documentary Short
"CaveDigger"
"Facing Fear"
"Karama Has No Walls"
"The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life" - WINNER
"Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall"

Best Short Film (Animated)
"Feral"
"Get a Horse!"
"Mr. Hublot" - WINNER
"Possessions"
"Room on the Broom"

Best Short Film (Live Action)
"Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn't Me)"
"Avant De Tout Perdre" (Just Before Losing Everything)
"Helium" - WINNER
"Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)"
"The Voorman Problem"

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